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Harlan: Luka up all night sick following Dubs-Mavs Game 1 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Luka Dončić wasn’t at his best in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.
In a defensive effort headed by Andrew Wiggins, the Warriors held the superstar to 20 points on 6-of-18 shooting in their blowout win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Per NBA announcer Kevin Harlan, who was on the call as the play-by-play broadcaster for TNT during Game 1, there could have been another reason for Dončić’s poor play.
"I hear he’s sick today,” Harlan told KNBR’s Greg Papa and John Lund on Thursday. “I guess he was up most of the night and ill. I’ve heard it now from two different people, so I’m assuming it’s probably true.”
Harlan went on to clarify that his two sources aren't a part of the Warriors or Mavericks organizations. The broadcaster also didn’t hear if Dončić was ill during the game or if his alleged symptoms began after the final buzzer.
“The body language that he showed, just the zest that he showed in Game 7 [of the Western Conference semifinals] in Phoenix was not there last night," Harlan said. "And I’m not sure if perhaps he was a little bit under the weather [during the game]. He didn’t play like he played in the Suns series, that’s for sure, and he needed every ounce of what he gives them, and that was not apparent.”
Harlan's insight would make sense of the boggling negative numbers posted by Dončić in Game 1. He logged a game-worst minus-30 rating, tallied more turnovers (7) than made field goals (6) and shot a career-worst 16.7 percent on contested attempts from the floor.
"I don’t want to diminish at all what the Warriors did [defensively]," Harlan said. "It was sound and clear cut, there’s no ambiguity there whatsoever. ... I’m just passing along what I heard from two people that he was up all night and sick."
If Dončić is feeling under the weather, he'll have to make a quick recovery to be ready for Game 2 of the series Friday night at Chase Center.