Tempers flared during the contentious Western Conference matchup between the Mavericks and Suns on Sunday afternoon, with Devin Booker and Luka Dončić getting into each other’s faces late in the fourth quarter.
After the game, in which Dallas lost 130–126, Dončić was asked about the dust-up with Booker, to which he said there were no hard feelings before taking a small shot at Phoenix’s star guard.
“It’s a competitive game. It’s all good. Next time, just don’t wait until there’s three seconds left to talk,” said the Mavs’ superstar of Booker.
After Dončić missed a potential game-tying layup, the Mavs star fouled Kevin Durant to send him to the free-throw line with a few seconds left. Something Booker said in the direction of Dončić seemed to get under his skin, however, and the two had to be separated.
While Dončić claims he’s fine with some trash talk, the Mavericks star encouraged Booker to start chirping before the game is out of hand. It’s a similar sentiment to something the 24-year-old uttered last season during the playoffs when he called out the Suns for talking trash during a blowout.
Booker, of course, was asked about the incident and whether the brewing rivalry with Dončić dated back to last season's playoff series.
"Yeah, it's just two competitors going at it," said Booker. "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."
With the Mavs and Suns both in the top half of the Western Conference, a playoff rematch could certainly be in the cards for the two teams after Dallas won last year’s series in seven games.