Mavs’ Luka Doncic briefly enters concussion protocol after hard fall, says he’s OK

LOS ANGELES — Dallas Mavericks star guard Luka Doncic briefly entered the concussion protocol during Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers after suffering a hard fall to the court during a first-half drive to the hoop.

Doncic was fouled on the drive and stayed in to sink a pair of free throws, but he checked out of the game late in the second quarter and went to the locker room.

Doncic was deemed healthy enough to return to action and he came back in the second half. He finished with 19 points, seven assists and four rebounds in the 108-95 loss to the Lakers.

“It was scary,” said Doncic, who entered the game averaging 29.1 points, 9.7 rebounds and 9.1 assists. “I fell on my back, hit my head and my elbow. I was OK.”

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said they didn’t have any kind of update on Doncic’ status moving forward, noting only that Doncic did return to Sunday’s game in the second half.

“For now, that’s all I have,” Carlisle said.

The Mavericks also lost another member of their backcourt in the first half when starting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. suffered what the team said was a left hamstring injury. The team announced that Hardaway Jr. wouldn’t return to the game.

Carlisle said after the game the team didn’t expect Hardaway Jr.’s injury to be serious.

“We’re very optimistic that this can be a short-term thing,” Carlisle said. “We’ll see. It’s going to most likely be day-to-day.”

Hardaway Jr. said after the game that he didn’t feel anything “pop” in his leg or anything like that.

“I’m walking fine,” he said. “Time will tell, but right now I feel OK.”

The Mavericks scored a season-low 95 points in the loss that dropped them to 21-11.

“We didn’t play like us,” Doncic said.

Said Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis, who tallied 11 points and seven rebounds, “These kinds of nights happen. It’s not a tragedy.”

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