Mavs C Dereck Lively (neck) exits game vs. Wolves

Dallas Mavericks center Dereck Lively II was forced out of Game 3 of the Western Conference finals against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night due to a neck sprain.

After contesting a shot, Lively fell to the floor and banged his head against Minnesota big man Karl-Anthony Towns’ knee with 8:35 left in the second quarter. Lively stayed on the ground with his arms wrapped around his head and was eventually helped to the Dallas locker room.

The Mavericks later announced that Lively was done for the game.

Prior to exiting, Lively had six points, three rebounds and two assists in nine minutes.

Lively, 20, averaged 8.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks across 55 games (42 starts) during the regular season. He finished sixth in Rookie of the Year voting.

Dallas ended up winning Sunday’s game 116-107 to take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. The Mavericks will have an opportunity to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals in front of their home crowd on Tuesday when the teams meet for Game 4.