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NBA: Doncic & Irving take the blame for Mavericks 100-105 loss against Timberwolves

IANS | May 29, 2024 12:32 PM

DALLAS: Luka Doncic's triple-double couldn't prevent the Dallas Mavericks from falling 100-105 to the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Doncic struggled from the field (7-21) and shared the team-worst minus-13 rating with teammate P.J. Washington despite scoring 28 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists.

"I think that game is on me, I just didn't give enough energy, " said a dejected Doncic post-game to reporters.

Kyrie Irving also had a forgettable night, scoring just 16 points on inefficient shooting (6-18) with four turnovers. Both stars acknowledged their role in ending the Mavericks' five-game winning streak. Doncic shouldered the blame for the loss, while Irving regretted his sloppy play in the first quarter that set a negative tone.

"He's not alone in this, I expect him to say something like that, especially knowing how much he cares and how much he wants to win and how much he wants to lead our group. So I expect nothing less. I think you heard me, too, just say that it's on me. That's what you're supposed to hear from your leaders of your team, " said Kyrie.

"It's not on them, it's on us as a team. We are a unit. We go out there, and we play together, we win together, we lose together. It's not on one person. I know that they're the leaders of the team, that head of the snake, but we got their back through thick and through thin, " said Derrick Jones Jr.

Minnesota adjusted their defensive strategy, switching Jaden McDaniels to Irving and Anthony Edwards to Doncic. This marked the first time all playoffs that both Mavs stars shot below 35% from the field. Doncic, who struggled against Edwards' defense (5-15), wouldn't comment on the impact of the matchup, instead praising Edwards' all-around performance (29 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists).

The series now heads to Minnesota for a pivotal Game 5, with the Mavericks still holding a commanding 3-1 lead.

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