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HomeSportsLuka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks are dealing with growing pains

Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks are dealing with growing pains

DALLAS — Celebrity Luka Doncic, moments after his Dallas Mavericks have been pushed to the brink of elimination within the Western Convention finals, seen the scenario by a long-term lens.

Doncic scored a game-high 40 factors in Sunday’s 109-100 Sport 3 loss to the Golden State Warriors, together with 21 whereas the Mavs tried to mount a fourth-quarter comeback that by no means gained a lot steam. He additionally, nevertheless, had the sport’s worst plus-minus, as Dallas was outscored by 19 factors in Doncic’s 40 minutes on the ground, with the Warriors persevering with to have success concentrating on him on the defensive finish.

Doncic, whose group is now 2-6 when he scores 40 or extra factors in a playoff recreation in his profession, accepted accountability for the loss that put the Mavs in jeopardy of being swept within the franchise’s first convention finals look for the reason that 2011 championship run.

“I am nonetheless studying,” mentioned Doncic, who additionally had 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. “I believe the primary two quarters, I performed very unhealthy. That is on me. However I am nonetheless studying. I believe after this season is completed, no matter we’re, I believe we’ll look again and be taught a whole lot of issues.

“It is my first time within the convention finals within the NBA. I am 23, man. I am nonetheless studying lots.”

Doncic grew to become simply the sixth participant in NBA historical past to lose each video games whereas recording consecutive 40-point playoff video games, in accordance with ESPN Stats & Data knowledge, becoming a member of some unique firm: Devin Booker, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and Jerry West.

It is a checklist that Doncic needs did not embrace him. Nor did he wish to be part of Golden State legend Rick Barry as, in accordance with Elias Sports activities Bureau, the one gamers to endure losses in 4 consecutive 40-plus-point playoff performances.

To this point this collection, a Dallas group that exceeded expectations has been outplayed by a Warriors group with championship expertise.

“No one had us being right here in these convention finals,” mentioned Doncic, who’s averaging 34.0 factors, 7.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists within the collection. “I believe the Warriors are enjoying unimaginable. All people is aware of their position. All people simply stays collectively. They are a long-built group. They have been collectively for a very long time, and I believe they’re enjoying good basketball, so that is what I believe goes to be actually troublesome. And these previous three video games, it has been very troublesome.”

First-year Mavs coach Jason Kidd additionally targeted on the expertise Dallas is gaining by competing towards a group that options possible future Corridor of Famers Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Inexperienced.

“That is only the start of this journey,” Kidd mentioned. “I do know you guys had us successful the championship earlier than the season began. And that is a joke for those who did not get it. However this can be a lot greater than simply this one recreation or this one collection. That is enormous for our franchise as a result of none of you guys had us right here. You guys have been all speculated to be on trip.

“So it is cool to undergo this, and we’re going towards — you may name them a dynasty. … They’ve three nice gamers who might be all Corridor of Famers, and this can be a nice lesson realized from us. This is not the top. That is only the start.”

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