Heading into this series, the Warriors were preaching a team-defense mentality and it showed as they held Luka Doncic in check in the second half of Game 1 to pull out a 112-87 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Just maybe Luka was dealing with a lot more than just the Warriors’ defense.
According to a report from play-by-play man Kevin Harlan, Doncic was reportedly sick the night of the game and again on Thursday.
“I hear he’s sick today,” Harlan told KNBR’s Greg Papa and John Lund on Thursday. “I guess he was up most of the night and ill. I’ve heard it now from two different people, so I’m assuming it’s probably true.”
“The body language that he showed, just the zest that he showed in Game 7 [of the Western Conference semifinals] in Phoenix was not there last night,” Harlan said. “And I’m not sure if perhaps he was a little bit under the weather [during the game]. He didn’t play like he played in the Suns series, that’s for sure, and he needed every ounce of what he gives them, and that was not apparent.”
Doncic finished with 20 points on 6-of-18 shooting. It was the third-lowest career-scoring playoff game for Doncic and was just the third time out of 24 postseason games he failed to score more than 20 points.
The Dallas Mavs need Luka to be a full strength if they want to steal a game before the series shifts to Dallas.
Game 2 between the Mavericks and Warriors kicks off at 9:00 p.m. ET on TNT tonight.