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#pounditTuesday, July 23, 2024

Luka Doncic blames himself for Mavericks’ loss in Game 2

Mavericks star Luka Doncic at a press conferece

Luka Doncic was not the problem for the Dallas Mavericks in their Game 2 NBA Finals loss to the Boston Celtics, but he was quick to shoulder the blame.

The Mavericks are now in a 2-0 series hole after they lost 105-98 at TD Garden in Boston, Mass., on Sunday night. Doncic was a lone bright spot for Dallas and had a triple-double with 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. Though, Doncic did turn the ball over eight times.

Doncic also converted on just 4-of-8 free throw attempts. After the game, he told reporters he needs to improve in those two areas and took the blame for the Game 2 loss.

“My turnovers and my missed free throws cost us the game,” Doncic said. “I’ve got to do way better in those two categories.”

There is no way to know if the Mavericks would have won had Doncic turned the ball over fewer times or converted more free throws. Luka had 23 points in the first half and was basically the only reason Dallas stayed in the game. He was not as effective in the second half, and it is fair to wonder if his health had anything to do with that.

The real issue for the Mavericks in Game 1 and Game 2 is that Doncic has gotten barely any help. Kyrie Irving, who was outstanding in the Western Conference Finals, is shooting just 31.5% from the field through the two games. He has missed all eight of his 3-point attempts. Irving insists Celtics fans are not getting under his skin, but the results say otherwise.

The Mavericks will host Game 3 on Wednesday night. History says that game is a must-win, as no team has ever come back from a 3-0 series deficit in the NBA playoffs.

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