Dallas loses to Denver as Dončić sits with a sore ankle

Dallas loses to Denver as Dončić sits with a sore ankle

DALLAS – The Dallas Mavericks returned to action after All Star break. Luka Dončić sat out the game against the Denver Nuggets with soreness in his right ankle. “It’s not serious,” coach Rick Carlisle said at his pregame press conference. “But he won’t play tonight.” Dončić is listed as day-to-day.

The rookie point guard from Slovenia received his third in a row Rookie of the Month Award during halftime.

Dallas came up short against Denver. Nikola Jokić finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds as Nuggets won 114-104. Denver won the rebound battle 63-42, cruising to its third straight victory. The Mavericks have lost three in a row. “Rebounding was the biggest problem all night,” Carlisle said. “They have three phenomenal rebounders with Jokić, Paul Milsap and Mason Plumlee, and they just beat us to death there.”

Jalen Brunson started in Dončić’s place and scored a career-high 22 points. “I love the way he started the game,” Carlisle said. “He had a rough patch. But I like the way he keeps a steady approach.”

The Mavs will play Utah on Saturday in the first of two road games in three nights.