Doncic back, Irving out for Mavericks in key game vs. Warriors

Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic, left, and Kyrie Irving look on from the sideline during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Dallas, Monday, March 13, 2023. (LM Otero/AP)

DALLAS — Luka Doncic will return from a five-game absence, but fellow star Kyrie Irving is out for the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night in a meeting with Golden State that has significant playoff implications.

Doncic had been out with a left thigh strain that required an MRI. The test didn’t show significant damage, but Doncic still missed two weeks after limping through the last game before he was sidelined.

Irving was ruled out with right foot soreness after aggravating his injury in a 112-108 loss at Memphis on Monday and leaving the arena in a walking boot.

Irving’s absence means he and Doncic will have played together in just half of the 18 games since Irving’s debut after the blockbuster trade that brought him from Brooklyn.

The meeting of last season’s Western Conference finalists comes with both teams trying to stay out of the play-in tournament while also being at risk of missing the playoffs altogether.

The defending champion Warriors (37-36), who beat Dallas in five games in the West finals last spring, are a half-game ahead of the Mavericks (36-36). The winner will hold the tiebreaker between the teams with a 2-1 edge in the season series.

Golden State is mostly healthy, with stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson set to play and Draymond Green listed as probable with right wrist soreness.

The Warriors just ended an 11-game road losing streak, their longest in 13 years, with a 121-108 victory in Houston. The Dallas game is the finale of a five-game trip. Golden State is 8-29 on the road.

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