Luka Doncic: 'I Like When People Trash Talk to Me' After Win vs. Devin Booker, SunsMay 13, 2022
Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic said he's enjoyed the verbal exchanges with the Phoenix Suns throughout the teams' second-round playoff series.
"I like when people trash talk to me," Doncic told reporters after the Mavs' 113-86 win Thursday night to force a Game 7. "It gets me going. It's fun."
The comments come after Suns guard Devin Booker stayed down for several seconds after being fouled in Game 5 on Tuesday before calling the act, "the Luka special."
Doncic took heat after a Game 5 performance where here finished with more turnovers (four) than assists (two) in a 110-80 Phoenix victory.
The three-time All-Star bounced back in a major way Thursday. He tallied 33 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, four steals and just one turnover in 35 minutes as Dallas scored a 113-86 win to level the series at three games apiece.
It continued a trend of Doncic putting on a show in elimination games, per ESPN's Marc J. Spears:
Marc J. Spears @MarcJSpears
A win in Game 7 in Phoenix will have an impact on several career storylines depending on the result… Meanwhile, <a href="https://twitter.com/luka7doncic?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@luka7doncic</a> is a problem. <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNStatsInfo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ESPNStatsInfo</a> <a href="https://t.co/O8D0YOusAo">pic.twitter.com/O8D0YOusAo</a>
The 23-year-old Slovenian sensation isn't worried about his own numbers, though.
"I don't care about stats as long as we win," Doncic said. "If we win, I'm good. The statistics don't really matter to me, but if we win, it's going to be amazing. I think we won this game on the defensive end, and we've got another game."
Mavs head coach Jason Kidd was happy with his point guard's bounce-back outing.
"Elimination is I guess the word that you guys use, but it's just another game for us on this journey, and our journey is to win a championship," Kidd said. "Sometimes it ends early, sometimes you're able to play until June. I think he just enjoys the moment. He's not afraid of the stage."
Another standout showing from Doncic would go a long way in helping the Mavericks upset the top-seeded Suns, who owned the NBA's best record at 64-18 during the regular season.
If Dallas is going to make that happen, it'll have to buck the trend of all six games in the series being won by the home team.
The series returns to the Footprint Center in Phoenix for Game 7 on Sunday.