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Two days after Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban received a $500,000 fine for criticizing NBA officiating, Mavs star Luka Doncic aired his grievances about the referees in Sunday’s 112-109 loss to the Indiana Pacers.
“They hit me in the face and that should be a foul,” Doncic said after the game, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “They should look at it. I think the rule is when you get hit in the face, they’ve got to look if it’s flagrant or no, right? Like I said, it was hit in the face three times. Two of them was not a foul.”
Doncic was upset the officiating crew didn’t review a foul by Edmond Sumner in the second quarter. Sumner inadvertently kneed the All-Star guard in the face after biting on a pump fake. He was assessed a personal foul but avoided a flagrant.
Doncic said he underwent an X-ray on his jaw at halftime, which came back negative.
In the final seconds, the 21-year-old vented his frustration after he thought the officials missed a foul on Victor Oladipo.
The Pacers appeared to take an aggressive approach toward defending Doncic. T.J. Warren picked up three fouls in 12 seconds while guarding him in the fourth quarter.
Doncic still had a game-high 36 points and connected on six of his 10 free throws.
Players generally can expect a fine when they speak out against the referees following a game. However, Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard avoided a fine when he said the referees “cost us a f–king game” in connection to a missed goaltending call in a defeat to the Utah Jazz on Feb. 7.
Perhaps the league will be similarly lenient toward Doncic.