Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic didn't start Sunday's game against the Sacramento Kings intending to get two technical fouls, but that's what ended up happening.
Doncic tallied two technicals and an ejection in the Mavs' 111-99 loss to the Kings, bringing his season total to 15. If he gets one more, that triggers an automatic one-game suspension. However, he was pretty confident that he wouldn't get that 16th technical in the team's final eight games of the regular season.
"I won't get another one," Doncic said via ESPN. "Don't worry."
Doncic's two technicals
The first technical happened with 10:23 left in the second quarter. Crew chief Rodney Mott made an offensive foul call on Doncic, and let's just say that Doncic strongly disagreed.
“The first technical foul was called after a correct call, offensive foul, and in transition he runs past me and he screams ‘hell no’ as he shakes his fist," Mott told ESPN after the game. "Which is a disrespectful response to a referee, that is unsportsmanlike.”
Doncic confirmed that he did exactly what Mott said he did.
"He told me I cannot tell him, 'Hell no,'" Doncic said via ESPN. "Maybe I can tell it to others, but to him, no. That's why I got a tech."
While screaming "hell no" at a referee seems relatively unambiguous, Doncic's second technical — which triggered an automatic ejection — is a bit more subjective. With just over 30 seconds left in the game, a timeout was called. Doncic tossed the ball at the opposing basket instead of handing it directly to the official. That's not uncommon in the NBA, but it is technically against the rules. Mott was in no mood to overlook it.
“The second technical foul was called for throwing the ball due to frustrations of a call," Mott said in the pool report. "Throwing the ball, the length of the court in an overt manner which is also an unsportsmanlike technical foul.”
Mott explained why he decided that Doncic should get a technical foul instead of a delay of game.
“We had a time out and he takes the ball and he doesn’t throw it to the nearest official, he throws the ball the length of the court which makes it an unsportsmanlike act," Mott said. "The rule clearly states that you have to hand the ball to the nearest official.”
Doncic thought the call was ludicrous.
"If you get a tech for that, that's ..." Doncic said, pausing and shaking his head. "I don't know."
Doncic wasn't the only Maverick to get dinged by the refs. Head coach Rick Carlisle was also given two technicals, both called right after Doncic's. Carlisle was also ejected right after Doncic.
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