Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic has been fined $35,000 by the NBA after the guard made a money gesture toward a referee during the controversial ending of Wednesday night’s 127-125 loss to the Golden State Warriors. Of course, the gesture symbolizes a payoff.
Doncic missed a contested layup with 1.7 seconds left of regulation, and the four-time All-Star thought he was fouled. When he didn’t receive a call, the guard then directed the gesture at the referee. Doncic was fined for “making an inappropriate and unprofessional gesture” towards an official.
According to multiple NBA betting sites, the Mavericks have 11th-ranked odds to win the championship. Some sportsbooks are showing greater odds for the Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, and Los Angeles Lakers.
Luka Doncic makes the money sign towards the refs after missing a clutch layup.
The Mavericks shot 10 more free throws than the Warriors tonight.
— Guru (@DrGuru_) March 23, 2023
“The mood is not good, obviously,” said Luka Doncic, who ended his outing with 30 points, seven rebounds, a season-high 17 assists, and one steal in 42 minutes of action. “Every time you lose, it’s bad. We’ve got to focus what’s next. We’ve got to be focused on winning.”
It was Doncic’s first game back after missing the previous five due to a left thigh strain. Through 58 starts this season, the guard is averaging career highs of 32.9 points, 1.4 steals, and 36.4 minutes per game. Plus, he’s logging 8.6 boards and 8.2 assists while shooting a career-best 49.8% from the floor.
Mavericks guard Luka Doncic fined $35K for money gesture directed at referee, Mark Cuban officially files protest over third quarter non-call
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was upset over another questionable call during the third quarter. Cuban tweeted: “For those wondering about the play with 1:54 to go on the 3rd, let me explain what happened. The ref called Mavs ball. The announcer announced it. Then there was a timeout.
“During the timeout, the official changed the call and never told us. Then when they saw us line up as if it were our ball, he just gave the ball to the warriors. Never said a word to us. They got an easy basketball. Crazy that it would matter in a 2-point game. Worst officiating non-call mistake possibly in the history of the NBA. All they had to do was tell us and they didn’t.”
Only two refs were on that side of the court and we had 2 guys at half court going to in bound. The other ref obviously thought it was our ball as well. https://t.co/NSTsj5CWKY pic.twitter.com/cStupauXiV
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) March 23, 2023
During the third quarter, Warriors center Kevon Looney recorded an uncontested dunk when there was confusion over which team had possession of the ball after a timeout call.
Friday afternoon, the Mavericks officially filed the paperwork and paid the $10,000 fee to submit a formal protest to the league office. Dallas’ loss was significant for various reasons.
The Mavericks played without Kyrie Irving (right foot soreness) and dropped 1.5 games behind the Warriors in the Western Conference standings. Furthermore, Golden State clinched the tiebreaker by winning the season series 2-1. And the Dubs won consecutive road games for the first time since the 2022 NBA Finals.