Booker’s skirmish with Doncic, Irving highlights Suns win over Mavs


Luka Doncic’s blown layup with three seconds remaining only heightened the dramatics of Sunday’s Phoenix SunsDallas Mavericks game.

Down two, the Mavericks star missed point-blank at the rim in the final seconds. Phoenix’s Kevin Durant secured the rebound, and Doncic was forced to foul him. 

That’s when things got spicy.  

Suns star Devin Booker appeared to begin chirping in Doncic’s direction, and the Mavs star took exception, immediately jumping into Booker’s face.


Both players received a technical foul for their actions and the Suns held on to win 130-126. 

Once the game ended, the other half of the Mavs’ dynamic duo Kyrie Irving also had words for Booker.

After the game, Booker said he wasn’t going to “tattletale” regarding the moment, but said he was actually talking to the ref because he thought Doncic got away with a push-off before his missed layup. 

He also seemed to embrace the back-and-forth between the two.

“You guys [in the media] always say you don’t want everyone to be ‘friendly-friendly,’ so there you go — you got some smoke,” Booker said. 

According to reporters at the game, Doncic told Booker to “shut the [expletive] up” and Doncic disagreed that Booker wasn’t speaking to him, saying, “Based on the words, I don’t think so.” He also took another shot at Booker. 

“It’s a competitive game,” Doncic said. “It’s all good. Next time, just don’t wait until there’s three seconds left to talk.”

Sunday wasn’t the first time that there’s been a notable back-and-forth between Doncic and Booker. 

In their Western Conference semifinal matchup last spring, Booker was heard on a fan’s video saying “the Luka special” after he exaggerated contact following a foul. Following the Suns’ Game 5 win in that series, Doncic said, “Everybody acts tough when they’re up” as he was leaving the court.

Doncic and the Mavericks got the last laugh in that series, winning Game 7 by 33 points. 

Booker didn’t deny that some of Sunday’s back-and-forth traced back to the playoffs last season. However, he downplayed any notion that he dislikes Doncic. 

“It’s just two competitors going at it,” Booker said. ” … I have no problem with Luka on or off the court. But when we’re competing, we’re competing.”

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