The Los Angeles Clippers soundly beat the Dallas Mavericks 154-111 on Tuesday night, but Game 5 had more drama than just the Clippers finding themselves and taking a 3-2 lead in the series.
In the third quarter, the Clippers’ Marcus Morris stepped on Luka Doncic’s sprained left ankle. Doncic fell onto the floor and his left shoe came off.
An NBA basketball court is 4,700 square feet, and Marcus Morris steps directly on Luka’s publicly injured left ankle... coincidence? You tell me. pic.twitter.com/U6Mfb2fD5e— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) August 26, 2020
Intentionally stepping on a player’s injured ankle is pretty dirty, but was it intentional? It’s not clear. Morris appeared to take an extra gallop forward before planting his foot on Doncic’s ankle. However, it doesn’t really look like Morris was watching where he was stepping, and he also appeared to reach out for Doncic as he fell down. Morris himself also lost his balance as a result of the ankle step.
Doncic didn’t seem convinced that it was accidental when he spoke to the media after the game, but he wouldn’t commit either way, only saying that he hoped it wasn’t intentional.
"I don't want to talk to him. He's just saying a lot of bad stuff to me... I just hope it wasn't intentional. If that was intentional.. that's really bad."— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) August 26, 2020
Luka Doncic addresses Marcus Morris stepping on his injured ankle in game 5. @dallasmavs | #WholeNewGame pic.twitter.com/CqhqxWEAfM
Morris denies he intentionally stepped on Doncic’s ankle
There’s clearly no love lost between Doncic and Morris, but Morris took offense to being accused of stepping on a player’s injured ankle on purpose. Shortly after the game, he defended himself on Twitter.
I play this game with a level of respect for myself and other players. To think I would try to injure somebody is crazy to me. 10 years going against the best. I stand on morals and hard work. I compete and leave it out there every game.— Marcus Morris (@MookMorris2) August 26, 2020
Basketball has never been that serious to try to hurt somebody. Im not apologizing for shit because I know what I put into this game day in and day out. It was a mistake deal wit it. Competing is why I play.— Marcus Morris (@MookMorris2) August 26, 2020
Morris said it’s “crazy” to think that he’d intentionally try to injure someone, because basketball has never been “that serious to try to hurt somebody.” Morris then defended himself to Emmanuel Acho, who implied that it wasn’t accidental.
@EmmanuelAcho You don’t know me fam, to even think I would go that far to hurt a player is outta pocket. I play this game because I love it. 10 years and been going against the best since day one. Stop all that bs champ— Marcus Morris (@MookMorris2) August 26, 2020
And he also tweeted at Nick Wright of FS1, who openly accused Morris of trying to re-injure Doncic.
What Marcus Morris just did was obviously and clearly intentional & is utterly outrageous.— nick wright (@getnickwright) August 26, 2020
The future face of the league & you intentionally try to re-injure his ankle. The league has to look at that.
Get Luka out of the game. The game is clearly over, and with Morris targeting his injured ankle, only bad things can happen.— nick wright (@getnickwright) August 26, 2020
@getnickwright targeting? Smh the things you do for clout. Been a pro and will always be one. Don’t ever talk on my name like that champ. This game is about competition and that’s why I play.— Marcus Morris (@MookMorris2) August 26, 2020
On Wednesday afternoon, Morris had the chance to address the media about the incident, and he expressed disbelief that anyone would think that he was trying to hurt Doncic on purpose.
Marcus Morris on claims that he tried to hurt Doncic - "I stand on respect, morals, & hard work. I have my family watching this game... I hope he’s okay. I actually apologized right when it happened. The one thing I'm not is a dirty player. I hang my hat on being a hard worker.” pic.twitter.com/wLHZPZR1Ra— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) August 26, 2020
More from Yahoo Sports: