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NBA Finals 2024: Doncic despondent after Celtics extend advantage over Mavericks

Mavs star Kyrie Irving had a tough night as the Celtics edged it

Luka Doncic

Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd rallied round Luka Doncic after the Slovenian claimed he cost his side the game as they slipped 2-0 down to the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.

Doncic poured in 32 points and contributed 11 rebounds and 11 assists in what appeared a typically strong performance. The 25-year-old, however, felt he could’ve done better as the Celtics emerged 105-98 winners.

He said: “I think my turnovers and my missed free throws cost us the game. So, I’ve got to do way better in those two categories.

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

Kidd was having none of it. In response, he said: “He was great. 

“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.”

Doncic’s team-mate Kyrie Irving continued to struggle in the Finals, scoring 16 points, and is now averaging just 15 across the two games on 37.1 per cent shooting.

“A lot of shots were hitting the back rim,” said Irving. 

“That could piss you off as a competitor, but it’s all part of the game of basketball. And you have to accept the ups and downs of this. That’s, I would say, the toughest challenge when you’re in a series. You want to play extremely well, especially when you’re playing in a Finals.

“A little disappointed in myself not being able to convert a lot more on my opportunities that I have in the lane. Obviously, I’m going against Jrue Holiday and Jayle Brown a few times, but I feel like I have the upper edge on certain possessions where I’ve just got to convert.”

The series now heads to Dallas for Game 3 which takes place on Wednesday night.

Picture of Jon Fisher

Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.