'I’m proud of every one of them': Luka Doncic shows love to Mavericks despite falling short in NBA Finals vs Celtics

Published June 19, 2024, 10:30 AMPao Ambat

It was not the outcome Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks expected in their first NBA Finals appearance since 2011.

Luka Doncic became the first player in NBA history to lead the playoffs in total points, rebounds, assists, and steals.

Luka Doncic’s first trip to the NBA Finals didn’t result in his first championship. 

However, the Dallas Mavericks superstar credited the team's valiant effort in their first finals appearance in 13 years. 

“I’m proud of every guy that stepped on the floor, all the coaches, all the people behind (the scenes),” Doncic said after the Mavericks 106-88 Game 5 loss to the Boston Celtics that ended their season. 

Luka dropped 28 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, and three steals while shooting 12/25 from the field, including 2/9 from the three-point range, in 43 minutes to lead Dallas, but the Celtics proved too much to handle back at home. 

[ALSO READ: Jayson Tatum steers Celtics to record-setting 18th NBA title with Game 5 romp of Mavericks]

“Obviously, we didn’t win the finals, but we did have a hell of a season and I’m proud of every one of them.”


 Asked about his emotions after the game, a visibly disappointed Doncic responded: “Sad we lost.”


 There’s no secret that the 2024 NBA scoring leader dealt with various injuries throughout the playoffs and in the NBA Finals, but the Slovenian superstar offered no excuses in a five-game loss to the Celtics


 "It doesn't matter if I was hurt, how much was I hurt. I was out there. Tried to play. I didn't do enough."


But Luka showed he belonged in the NBA’s biggest stage after averaging 29.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 2.6 steals and shot 47.2% from the field in five games for the Mavericks.

Doncic also finished the postseason as the leader in total points (635), rebounds (208) and assists (178), becoming the second player in NBA history to finish the playoff leader in all three of those categories since three-time MVP Nikola Jokic pulled off the feat last season.

Finally, the 25-year-old credited the whole Celtics for a well-fought, physical series, noting Dallas is learning a valuable lesson in preparing for the next season. “They were [very] physical a lot. They have great defenders,” Doncic said.

“They're a great team. That's what they do. They're a great team. They have been together for a long time, and they had to go through everything, so we just got to look at them, see how they play, maturity, and they have some great players. We can learn from that. We got to fight next season.”