Doncic takes responsibility for the Mavericks’ defeat after recordin…

Doncic takes responsibility for the Mavericks’ defeat after recording a triple-double

BOSTON — Despite Luka Doncic’s 32 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists in Sunday’s Game 2, Kyrie Irving refused to accept that his team’s 2-0 deficit in the NBA Finals was entirely due to two unflattering statistics. “I think my turnovers and my missed free throws cost us the game,”

Doncic said, joining LeBron James, Charles Barkley, and Jerry West as the only other players in NBA history to record a 30-point triple-double in a Finals loss. “So, I need to do way better in those two categories.”

Doncic takes responsibility for the Mavericks' defeat after recording a triple-double
Doncic takes responsibility for the Mavericks’ defeat after recording a triple-double

“But at the end of the day, we’ve got to make shots to finish off the game.”

To defeat a Boston club that owns the best record in the NBA and hasn’t lost in over a month, the underdog Mavericks, and Irving in particular, need to make more shots.

For the second straight game, Irving finished with fewer points than field goal attempts, scoring 16 points on 7 of 18 shots in the defeat on Sunday.

In three of the Mavericks’ four victories over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference finals, Irving scored thirty points or more. In the NBA Finals, he is averaging fifteen points on 37.1% shooting.

Irving remarked of Doncic, “He’s not alone, and we are going to tell him that.” Like myself, he seems to be losing control of his emotions and feels like he could play better. I would bear the most of the blame. For me, the first two games weren’t the greatest.

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In Game 2, Irving and Doncic both had explosive first quarters, scoring a combined 21 points to give the Mavericks a big lead. In the quarter, Irving was 4-of-5 from the floor, but he calmed down under pressure from Boston’s guards.

“He was great,” Kidd said of Doncic. “No matter what he says, that’s just who he is. He’s a leader. It’s not all on him. It’s a team. We win as a team, and we lose as a team. So, he put us in a position.

He was really good tonight. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t get over the hump. I thought our defense was really, really good. We’ve just got to take care of the ball.”

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