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Slovenia’s Luka Doncic sits out exhibition vs. United States

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MALAGA, Spain — All-NBA guard Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks is off Slovenia’s active roster for Saturday’s exhibition game against the U.S. for what his team called precautionary reasons.

It was the second game in a back-to-back for Slovenia, which lost 99-79 to Spain in an exhibition on Friday in which Doncic had 17 points. He had two triple-doubles in his first three appearances with the national team this summer while tuning up for the World Cup that begins later this month.

Doncic left Friday’s game in the second quarter after taking what the team called an “unfavorable blow,” though he returned in the second half after a brief injury scare.

In a statement, Slovenia said it does “not want to leave anything to chance” before traveling to Japan to continue World Cup preparations.

Slovenia, ranked No. 7 in the world by FIBA, is seeking its first World Cup medal after finishing fourth at the Tokyo Olympics two years ago.

Slovenia plays its final tuneup against Japan on Aug. 19. It opens World Cup play against Venezuela on Aug. 26 in Okinawa, Japan. Games follow against Georgia (Aug. 28) and against Cape Verde (Aug. 30).

Doncic averaged 32.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8 assists per game last season for the Mavericks. He’s one of two All-NBA players from last season scheduled to play in the World Cup; Canada’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of Oklahoma City is the other.

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