Mavs' Luka Doncic Felt Like He Didn't 'Know How to Play Basketball' vs. Lakers

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2020

Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic (77) against the Golden State Warriors during an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Frustration boiled over for Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks in their 129-114 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. 

Per ESPN's Tim MacMahon, the Mavs star didn't mince words about his performance after shooting just 42.1 percent from the field and committing six turnovers. 

"I played very bad," Doncic said. "I felt like I don't know how to play basketball. I've got to get bettera lot."

There were moments during the game when Doncic wore his emotions on his sleeve. He ripped his jersey late in the second quarter after missing two free throws. 

Doncic admitted afterward part of his frustration was due to his competitive nature, but being able to compartmentalize things in the moment is an area he needs to improve. 

"I know I can get better," he said. "There's a lot of things. I'm 20 years old. I've got a lot of things that I can do better, I can learn better. So I'll get better."

One potential reason for Doncic's frustration has been Dallas' recent rough stretch. The team has lost five of its last seven games and currently owns the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference. 

Kristaps Porzingis, who ranks second on the Mavs with 17.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, has missed six straight games due to soreness in his surgically-repaired right knee. MacMahon reported Thursday the Latvian star had a platelet-rich plasma injection as part of his treatment. 

During this seven-game stretch, Doncic is averaging 30.6 points, 9.9 rebounds and 8.3 assists per contest, and the 20-year-old is only shooting 29.9 percent from three-point range. 

   

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