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It doesn't matter if he's in the right or in the wrong in the moment. The Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic is one technical foul away from a suspension and after Thursday night's win, he admitted what he needs to do.
"Stop complaining so much," Doncic told the NBA on TNT crew following the Mavericks' 113-109 win against the Brooklyn Nets at the American Airlines Center.
Doncic: I have to stop complaining
Doncic picked up two techs in Monday's game, bringing his total to 15. It's tied for most in the league with Dwight Howard. A 16th technical within the regular season would trigger a one-game suspension by the NBA.
NBA on TNT's Ernie Johnson asked him about it after the game, struggling to find a way to kindly ask how he would stay Luka but not get booted.
"This season has been long," Doncic, 22, said. "With the officials, I wasn't myself this season. Complaining too much. I have to work on that. I have to just stay calm and not talk to them. I've got to learn from that."
He elaborated on it in the virtual postgame media availability, via ESPN:
"I realize it," Doncic said. "It's something that I'm not supposed to do. [It's difficult] with all the emotions in games, but obviously I've got to stop. It's just hard for me on the court with all the emotions, but I realize it and I've got to work on this. It's tough to do it, but I've got to work on it and be way better than this."
Doncic made similar comments in December 2019 en route to 13 total technicals, tied for seventh-most in the NBA. He's been called out on podcasts and by reporters this season for whining, though Mavericks team owner Mark Cuban immediately came to his defense in February.
A technical called on Doncic in an April 2 win for yelling, "And one!" was rescinded by the league and does not count toward his total. He has 10 technicals in 28 games since the All-Star break, via ESPN.
Mavericks playoff outlook
The Mavericks are currently fifth in the Western Conference standings, but have the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers each one game back. The No. 7 through No. 10 seeds are in the play-in tournament.
There are six games left in the Mavs' schedule as they try to avoid that, and Doncic, who is averaging 28.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game, has vowed to not get another technical.
After 16 technicals and a suspension, every two technicals trigger another one-game suspension. The totals reset in the playoffs, where players receive a suspension for the seventh technical.
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