Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic said he "played terrible" in a Game 5 loss versus the Golden State Warriors. On Thursday night, the Golden State Warriors beat the Mavericks in Game 5 120-110 to progress into the NBA Finals.
Doncic, who averaged over 30 points per game this postseason, finished with 28 points, nine rebounds and six assists. However, Doncic wasn't happy with himself as he went just 10-of-28 from the field. "I don't like losing, especially like this," Doncic said, per ESPN.
"I played terrible." The Mavericks entered this playoffs without a playoff series win since 2011. in 2011, the Mavericks won the NBA title after stunning the Miami Heat in the final. Doncic was putting up big numbers throughout the playoffs as the Mavericks eliminated the Utah Jazz in the first round and Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Semifinals, respectively.
Doncic: I'm proud of my teammates, team staff
"If we talk about our season, I'm really proud of this team -- everybody, every player, every staff member," Doncic said. "Nobody had us here. But I promise we fought until the end.
Congratulations to Warriors. They were obviously the better team. But I'm really proud of this team." Doncic is a menace offensively but defensively he is often targeted by opposing teams. "I think defense has got to be way better for me," Doncic said.
"Honestly, I think I made a huge step this year defensively, but there's so much room for improvement. I've got to be way better there. I think that's one spot that can take us to the next level." The Mavericks enjoyed a good run and head coach Jason Kidd wants his players to be even more hungry next season.
"Now it's about, what is our appetite come next season?" Kidd said. "Are we going to tiptoe into the season or are we going to be hungry? Then, are we going to train this summer to understand what it means to play into May and June? Because it's a long season." Doncic failed to reach his first NBA Finals and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is confident the Slovenian guard will respond.
"That's what the great ones do," Cuban said. "He's a top-three, top-one, top-two player in this league, and he'll continue to get better. Some guys, who they are is who they are. That's not Luka. Luka will continue to get better."