Dallas Mavericks star guard Luka Doncic admitted he felt tired after logging 41 minutes in his return from knee and ankle injuries. Doncic scored 26 points, had nine rebounds and nine assists and that was enough for the Mavericks to earn a 112-1o4 overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
"I was tired," Doncic said with a chuckle. "And overtime in the first game back, it was tough. But we got a win. That's all that matters. I was happy." Doncic was just happy to return to the floor. "I mean mentally, I was really happy to be back," Doncic said.
"I miss basketball. I know it's only been three [games], but I will do everything possible to play the game. I felt great after I woke up from my nap. I was just ready to go."
Doncic won the night
Doncic and Clippers' Marcus Morris Sr.
have a history and Morris claimed he could do nothing because he knew the refs would be immediately blowing the whistle. "The refs are on my ass, so I can't even talk to Luka," Morris said. "I can't even like breathe on him.
So that kind of like, makes it a little bit now where it's corny. But it's still competition." The Mavericks led 102-92 with a minute and a half to go but the Clippers fought back to force an overtime. "For a second, you were like, 'Damn, we should have finished it right here,'" Dallas forward Kristaps Porzingis said.
"But I think we are growing as a team mentally and kind of knew that, OK, if it is five more minutes, it's five more minutes, and we will go out there and prove that we're the superior team." Porzings scored 30 points and later credited Doncic for creating opportunities.
"Honestly, it is just easy, easy opportunities because of Luka," Porzingis said. "Luka is out there, he just makes the game so much easier for everybody else." Porzingis had a big game and later acknowledged that he is in a good place mentally.
"I am just feeling free, I would say, that is the main thing, just feeling free to play my game," Porzingis said. "And my teammates are trusting [me], my coach trusts me, and I am out there having fun. That is the main thing.
If you are not having fun, it is tough to play and give it your all. I feel like this year, we have that kind of environment and we are playing hard for each other and having fun."