Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic and Phoenix Suns standout Devin Booker renewed their rivalry Sunday afternoon.
The two stars, who butted heads during last season’s seven-game Western Conference semifinals, got face-to-face on the court with 3.5 seconds remaining in Phoenix’s 130-125 road win.
It wasn’t the most heated exchange between Doncic and Booker, with both smiling as teammates separated them. But it’s still clear there’s a level of distaste for one another.
Neither held back from talking about the incident following the game, either, with Doncic calling out Booker.
“It’s a competitive game. It’s all good,” Doncic told reporters, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “Next time, just don’t wait until there’s three seconds left to talk.”
Booker was more than happy to engage in the trash talk with Doncic on the court and in the process fight back against the NBA narrative that star players are all the best of buddies.
“I was talking to ref. He said something to me first. I responded,” Booker told reporters, per video from Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. “You guys say you don’t want everybody to be friendly, friendly. There you go. We got some smoke.”
Booker added: “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.”
Booker outplayed Doncic in the win for the Suns to hold the upper-hand this time around. Booker netted 36 points and dished out 10 assists while Doncic went 1-for-9 from 3-point range and finished with 34 points and nine rebounds.
Phoenix and Dallas aren’t scheduled to meet in the regular season again, but another playoff meeting between the two sides sure would be enticing due to the feud Booker and Doncic are building.