Mavericks’ Doncic questionable, Lively doubtful ahead of Game 4 vs. Timberwolves

The Dallas Mavericks are one win away from their first NBA Finals appearance since winning it all in 2011, but they may be without two key players heading into Game 4 on Tuesday.

Star guard Luka Doncic is listed as questionable as he deals with a right knee sprain and left ankle soreness. Meanwhile, rookie Dereck Lively is listed as doubtful due to a neck sprain heading into the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Doncic has been the Mavericks’ engine on offence all season and has taken it up a notch throughout the playoffs. The five-time All-Star is averaging 28.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and nine assists throughout the playoffs without missing a single game to this point.

Not to mention the countless big shots he’s hit for Dallas throughout the post-season like his game-winner over Rudy Gobert in Game 2.

Lively, 20, took a knee to the head early in the Mavericks’ Game 3 win on Sunday and was ruled out after playing just nine minutes. He did not enter concussion protocol for the injury but his status for Game 4 remains up in the air.

The 12th overall pick took a backseat to Daniel Gafford for much of the playoffs but has still remained vital to the team’s success. The big man has averaged 8.5 points on 65.3 per cent shooting while grabbing 7.1 rebounds in his 21.5 minutes of action throughout the post-season.

Lively is listed as doubtful by the Mavericks, though NBA Insider Chris Haynes did report on Monday that the rookie would not suit up for Game 4.

Dallas fans did get some good news as forward Maxi Kleber was upgraded to questionable after missing their last games with a separated shoulder. The German suffered the injury on May 3 in the Mavericks’ first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Kleber had been averaging 5.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists in just under 20 minutes a game through the playoffs.

Mavericks fans will surely be watching the status of all three players closely as they head into Game 4 with a 3-0 series lead. They’ll be on their home court needing just one more win, and if they can get it done on Tuesday, it may earn them a couple extra days of much-needed rest depending on how the Eastern Conference Finals proceed.

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