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P.J. Tucker calls Luka Doncic ‘the motor’ for Mavs

Mavs, PJ Tucker, Luka Doncic

Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker had a good idea of what he needed to do in Sunday’s game against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.

Doncic posted 19 points and a career-high 15 rebounds for the Mavs. However, he went 5-of-16 from the field and 1-of-6 from beyond the arc. In the end, the Rockets pulled out the win by the narrowest of margins, 94-93.

Tucker, who tallied nine points and seven rebounds in the win, says he knew the matchup with Doncic would be a tough one, so he adjusted his game accordingly:

“He’s the motor of their team,” Tucker told Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic after Sunday’s win. “He attacks a lot. He looks to get everybody going. I wanted to be physical with him, make it tough and make him have to play one-on-one against me and have everybody stay home and make him take tough shots.”

With just over four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Doncic gingerly made his way to the bench. Head coach Rick Carlisle later stated that the Slovenian-born star appeared to be suffering from a knee ailment. Doncic  said he felt a “pop,” but Carlisle is hoping the injury isn’t serious:

“The hope is that it’s not serious,” Carlisle told ESPN during his postgame media availability. “We will know more tomorrow.”

Eric Gordon and Chris Paul led the charge for the Rockets. Gordon finished with 26 points, while Harden was held to 20. For Houston, it was its eighth consecutive victory. For Dallas, the loss marked its 10th in 11 outings.

The Mavs will be back in action on Tuesday night, when they’ll serve as hosts to the San Antonio Spurs. Tip-off inside the American Airlines Center is set for 8:00 p.m. ET, with TNT having live broadcast coverage.

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