Mavericks’ Luka Doncic explains flagrant foul: ‘That kind of stuff happens a lot’

Luka Doncic admitted last week that he's been "complaining way too much" to the referees this season looking for calls, and it's resulted in 15 technical fouls.

He and the Dallas Mavericks had some complaints about a flagrant foul Sunday that got him ejected from their 124-97 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Doncic was assessed a flagrant foul 2 and ejected early in the third quarter after he struck Collin Sexton below the belt while the two were fighting for position on a rebound. Officials ruled Doncic made "an aggressive strike to the groin area" when he swung his right arm towards Sexton and hit him in the midsection.

Doncic insisted their was nothing malicious about his intent on the play.

Luka gets ejected for hitting Collin Sexton ?

"After I saw the video, I knew I hit him, but it wasn't nothing on purpose," Doncic said. "I think that kind of stuff happens a lot in games, but I don't know. That's my explanation. It obviously wasn't on purpose. It was just two guys fighting for a rebound, I guess."

Sexton said he didn't believe Doncic's play was intentional either and called it "just a basketball play."

"We're both competitors. It was just one of those things. Just a boxout play," Sexton said. "Usually, whenever someone is hand-checking, then you punch down or swing down. It was just in the groin, but it's all good."

The play occurred at the 10:05 mark of the third quarter with the Mavericks up 68-57. Cavaliers guard Isaac Okoro attempted a 3-pointer while Doncic and Sexton were under the basket jockeying for position. The ball went out of bounds after the shot, and officials initiated a video review.

A lengthy review ensued, and Doncic said he thought it was to see if his foul happened before or after the shot clock expired.

“After I saw the video I knew I hit him, but it wasn’t nothing on purpose. That kind of stuff happens a lot in the games… two guys fighting for a rebound.”

Luka Doncic speaks on his 3rd quarter ejection vs the Cavs.

"That's what I thought they were looking at," Doncic said. "I was really surprised when they called a flagrant 2."

Sexton hit the two free throws after the foul to pull the Cavaliers within 68-59, but the Mavericks responded after Doncic's ejection. Dallas went on a 30-15 run to take control of the game on the way to a 27-point blowout.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 25 points, including 13 during the Mavericks' run after Doncic's ejection. Josh Richardson had 20 points. Jalen Brunson shouldered more of the point guard duties and finished with 13 points and seven assists. Doncic had 15 points, five rebounds and five assists before being tossed.

"The Luka play, I'm not really going to comment on it because I didn't see it closely enough," said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. "It's unfortunate, but it sparked out guys and we did a good job finishing the game off."

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