Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic couldn't believe his three pointer with five seconds to go rimmed out and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Doncic, who is one of the most clutch players in the NBA, had a perfect look with the game on the line but he failed to knock down the shot and the Trail Blazers won 121-118.
"It doesn't matter if I'm confident or not. The shot went out," said Doncic, who had 44 points on 14-of-20 shooting and nine assists in the loss. "Obviously, I was disappointed. I thought it was in, and it went in and out, so I was disappointed.
That's on me. I should have made the shot." Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle was also surprised to see Doncic not make the shot. "If he had that shot nine more times, I think he'd make it nine in a row," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said.
"I mean, it was in and out. And that's the guy we want to take it. I thought that was a great look, so we're disappointed."
Doncic failed to make his shot but Damian Lillard didn't
With the game on the line, Trail Blazers guard Lillard hit a step-back three-pointer over Mavericks' Dorian Finney-Smith.
"He sat down in his stance like he was going to have a good possession on defense," said Lillard, who had 34 points and 11 assists. "It's what you expect from defenders in this league, but I noticed that they weren't going to double, and I was like, 'It's going to be a one-on-one.'
I got the shot that I wanted. I got a clean look. In my mind, I was like, 'All right, if this is what it's going to be, I'm fine with this.' " Lillard got one-on-one with Mavericks forward Finney-Smith and he didn't have a tough job of making the most out of the favorable matchup.
"The communication didn't get there," Carlisle said. "He hit a difficult shot, but it's a shot he makes regularly." Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stott wasn't surprised to see Lillard make a clutch shot yet again in his career.
"He's done it for a long time," Stotts said. "A lot of times, the most important thing is just getting him the ball. That's what great players do. They make those plays, and obviously he is a great player."