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Doncic posts triple-double, takes blame for Mavericks' loss - ESPN

BOSTON — Kyrie Irving refused to let Luka Doncic take the blame for the Dallas Mavericks falling into an 2-0 hole in the NBA Finals.

Doncic had 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in Sunday's Game 2, but he pointed to two ugly numbers in his scoreline as the primary factors in the Mavericks' 105-98 loss to the Boston Celtics.

«I think my turnovers and my missed free throws cost us the game,» Doncic said after joining LeBron James, Charles Barkley and Jerry West as the only players in NBA history to record a 30-point triple-double in a Finals loss. «So, I've got to do way better in those two categories.

»But at the end of the day, we've got to make shots to win the game."

Irving, in particular, needs to make more shots for the underdog Mavericks to be able to beat a Boston team that had the NBA's best record and hasn't lost in a month.

Irving scored 16 points on 7-of-18 shooting in Sunday's loss, finishing with fewer points than field goal attempts for the second straight game. Irving, who scored 30 or more points in three of the Mavericks' four wins over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference finals, is averaging 15 points on 37.1% shooting in the NBA Finals.

«He's not alone, and we are going to tell him that,» Irving said of Doncic. «He's spilling into his emotions, feels like he could play better, just like me. I would take the brunt of the responsibility. The first two games weren't the best for me.»

Irving and Doncic both got off to sizzling starts in Game 2, combining for 21 points in the first quarter as the Mavericks jumped out to a lead. Irving was 4-of-5 from the floor in the quarter but cooled off while being pressured by Boston's guards.

«A lot of shots were hitting the back rim,» said Irving,