Suns’ Devin Booker, Mavericks’ Luka Doncic have heated exchange late in game

Mar 5, 2023, 2:00 PM | Updated: Mar 6, 2023, 6:12 pm

(NBA on ESPN photo)...

(NBA on ESPN photo)

(NBA on ESPN photo)

The Devin Booker and Luka Doncic rivalry just added its next chapter during the Phoenix Suns’ 130-126 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

With less than 10 seconds remaining and the Suns leading by two, Doncic drove hard at the rim and missed a potential game-tying floater that rimmed out and was rebounded by Kevin Durant. The Mavericks were then forced to foul, allowing a stoppage in play.

Doncic bent over in frustration before looking up and taking a quick step in Booker’s face. The two exchanged words and laughter before being separated by teammates.

Booker didn’t relay what he said that sparked Doncic to tell him to “shut the (expletive) up,” but added he was initially talking to the referee, according to AZCentral’s Duane Rankin.

“He was talking to me first, I responded. You guys say you don’t want everybody to be friendly-friendly. There you go,” Booker said. “We got some smoke.

“It’s just two competitors going at it. … Everybody speaks on how friendly the NBA is now and don’t like that. I have no problem with Luka on or off the court, but when we’re competing, we’re competing.”

The rivalry’s history extends back to the 2022 playoff series against Dallas when Booker fell over on the ground and looked at the camera saying, “The Luka Special.”

Suns fans know how Doncic got his retribution with the infamous meme of him looking over at Booker on the free-throw line and how the series ended at Footprint Center.

Booker had the last laugh on Sunday, scoring 36 points and adding 10 assists in the win on the road.

“It’s a competitive game, it’s all good,” Doncic said, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. “Next time just don’t wait until it’s 3 seconds left to talk.”

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