DALLAS — Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic avoided a one-game suspension when the NBA rescinded the technical foul called on him during Friday night’s blowout win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
The league office made the determination Saturday after a review of what would have been Doncic’s 16th technical foul of the season, which triggers an automatic suspension. Doncic is now eligible to play in Sunday’s regular-season finale against the San Antonio Spurs, a game that could determine whether the Mavs are the third or fourth seed in the Western Conference.
The slate is wiped clean for the playoffs, when players receive an automatic one-game suspension after seven technical fouls.
Dallas (51-30) is a half-game behind the third-place Golden State Warriors (51-29) entering Saturday night, when the Warriors play the Spurs. The Mavs own the tiebreaker.
Crew chief Tony Brothers called Doncic for the technical foul for “continuously complaining” after a no-call at the end of the first quarter Friday night. It was the second technical foul against Doncic that was rescinded by the league office this season.
“If you ask me, I think 100% it should be rescinded, because it wasn’t a tech at all,” Doncic said Friday night. “No warning, no nothing. I just asked him, ‘How is that not a call?’ Hopefully, it will be [rescinded], so I can play Sunday.”
Doncic was upset that a foul wasn’t called on his half-court heave at the end of the first quarter, when the Mavs had a 36-13 lead over the Blazers. Doncic was undercut from behind by Portland’s Elijah Hughes on the play and pleaded his case to referee Tom Washington while on his back.
After getting up, Doncic walked across the court to talk to Brothers, although Dallas forward Dorian Finney-Smith attempted to hold him back. Brothers called Doncic for a technical seconds later.
“At the end of the quarter he took a shot and he felt he got fouled,” Brothers said in a postgame pool report. “He started to complain to each of the officials. When I was walking toward the table, he was 15 feet in the backcourt still complaining so he got a technical for continuously complaining.”
Asked if profanity was used, Brothers said, “There was not.”
“I don’t know why I got a tech honestly,” said Doncic, who was also called for 17 technical fouls last season but avoided a suspension because two were rescinded. “I asked him, ‘How is that not a foul?’ and he just got me a tech. So I don’t really know how I got a tech there.”