Los Angeles Clippers forward Marcus Morris denied intentionally stepping on the previously-injured ankle of Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic and said he would not apologize after video of the incident circulated on social media.
It happened during the third quarter of Tuesday night's 154-111 Clippers victory in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series.
Following a converted Los Angeles field goal, during the Dallas inbound, Morris jogged toward Doncic, who was waiting to receive the pass. Morris appeared to take one final, longer stride as he approached Doncic and his left foot landed on Doncic's left ankle.
"I don't want to talk to him," Doncic said after the game. "He's just saying a lot of bad stuff to me all the game. I don't want to talk to him. I've just got to move on. Like I said, everybody's going to have their own opinion. I just hope it wasn't intentional. If that was intentional, that's very bad."
The sideline view of Marcus Morris stepping on Luka Doncic’s injured ankle 👀🤔#NBAPlayoffspic.twitter.com/t3AIzL7kHJ
The 21-year-old guard who has emerged as a star had rolled his left ankle in a Game 3 loss Friday, though he later returned. He had 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists in Tuesday's loss.
Morris went on his verified Twitter account to deny the accusations that he intentionally stepped on Doncic's ankle and refused to apologize for the matter.
"I play this game with a level of respect for myself and other players," Morris wrote early Wednesday morning. "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.
"Basketball has never been that serious to try to hurt somebody. Im (sic) not apologizing for (expletive) because I know what I put into this game day in and day out. It was a mistake deal wit (sic) it. Competing is why I play."
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) shoots against LA Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. (31) in Game 5 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. (Photo: Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports)
This series had already been tense, after Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell was caught on video calling Doncic "a (expletive) white boy" Friday in Los Angeles' Game 3 victory. The two embraced at midcourt before Sunday's Game 4 Mavericks victory, leading Doncic to say there were "no problems" between the two after Harrell apologized.
Game 6 in the series will be played Thursday night, with the Clippers holding a 3-2 lead and looking to advance.
Contributing: Associated Press
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