Doncic set to play key game 5 even though knee 'not good'

<a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Luka Doncic;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Luka Doncic</a> of the <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Dallas Mavericks;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Dallas Mavericks</a> reacts during the Mavs' loss to the <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Los Angeles Clippers;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Los Angeles Clippers</a> in game four of their NBA Western Conference first round playoff series (Tim Warner)

Dallas star Luka Doncic said he'd be ready for game five of the Mavericks' deadlocked NBA playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday despite a sprained right knee.

"Not good," Doncic said of his knee at the Mavs' shootaround on Wednesday morning. "Could be way better, but it is what it is."

The Slovenian star was hurt early in game three of the best-of-seven series, which was knotted at 2-2 after the Clippers won game four in Dallas on Sunday.

Doncic said he'd received "a lot of treatment" on the knee and had also been coping with an upper respiratory illness for several days.

"I'm fine," Doncic insisted. "I'll be ready for this game."

Doncic, the top scorer in the regular season, is a finalist for the NBA's Most Valuable Player award.

He had a triple-double on Sunday as the Mavs erased a 31-point deficit before coming up short in game four. But he is shooting just 38.6 percent from the floor in the series and said Sunday he felt like he was "letting down" Mavs star Kyrie Irving.

Doncic acknowledged that he would "probably not" plan to play on Wednesday if it wasn't a pivotal playoff game. That said, he was ready to give it his best.

"I've been in this situation a lot, been playing through injuries a lot," he said. "Just go out there, have fun and do everything you can do for your team to win."