Luka Doncic Takes Blame for Mavericks' Loss to Bulls: 'I Was Being Selfish'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2021

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) walks off the court during a game against the Chicago Bulls following the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in Dallas. The Bulls won 117-101. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

It isn't every day that a player takes the full blame for a loss after posting a triple-double, but Luka Doncic did just that after the Dallas Mavericks lost to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, 117-101.

"The second half, I played terrible," Doncic told reporters. "That's on me, that game. I was being selfish a little bit because I had 30 points in the first half. That wasn't me in the second half. I've got to do way better in the second half. That's just on me. I've got to do way better."

Doncic posted 36 points, 16 rebounds and 15 assists in the loss.

Yes, Doncic only had six points in the second half, but he also had 10 assists in the final 24 minutes. Nonetheless, the young superstar said he was "taking some shots I shouldn't be taking."

Those comments will likely earn Doncic some respect in the locker room. Hard not to like a guy who posts literally historic numbers and then publicly says the buck stops with him in a loss.

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"The stats are spectacular," Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said. "I mean, 36, 16 and 15, it's phenomenal, but without a win, he won't be happy with it, either. Right now, we're entering the most difficult seven days of scheduling in Mavericks history. Individual stats are impressive, but we're in the business of trying to win games."

After the game, Kristaps Porzingis had Doncic's back.

"We were all disappointed with our performances," he said. "It is what it is. He always expects greatness from himself. I'm the same way. We have a lot of high-character guys that want to do the right thing on the court. It's a team game, so we have to find ways how to play for each other so we can feed off of each other's energy."

Despite Doncic's MVP level of play this season, the Mavericks have started just 6-6 and now enter a brutal stretch with four more games in the next six days, with three of them on the road. How the Mavericks handle the run of games will say a lot about where they are as a team. Based on Sunday's postgame remarks, they aren't happy with how the week began.