Luka Dončić Apologized to Mavericks Teammates for Letting Them Down in Game 3

Doncic fouled out with 4:12 remaining in a close game.
Jun 12, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts after fouling out of the game against the Boston Celtics during the fourth quarter during game three of the 2024 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 12, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts after fouling out of the game against the Boston Celtics during the fourth quarter during game three of the 2024 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Doncic fouled out of a playoff game for the first time in his career on Wednesday night, and his Dallas Mavericks went on to lose Game 3 of the NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics. On Thursday, Doncic revealed he apologized to his teammates for letting them down.

The superstar guard picked up his sixth foul at a pivotal moment of Game 3. He attempted to get in the way of Celtics forward Jaylen Brown and wound up being whistled for blocking. That came with 4:12 remaining in the game with the Mavericks trailing 93–90. Boston outscored Dallas 13–9 the rest of the way after being outscored 20–8 until that point.

On Thursday, ESPN's Malika Andrews talked to Doncic about fouling out in Game 3. The five-time All-NBA first-teamer said he felt like he had let his teammates down and that he had to be smarter in that situation. He also revealed that he apologized to them after the game.

A segment from the interview is below.

As amazing as it seems, Doncic is only 25 years old. Regardless of the outcome of this series, he'll certainly learn a lot from it. He has established himself as one of the NBA's best players but learning how to get over the hump and win a championship requires more.

Doncic made a costly mistake in Game 3. It's good news for the Mavericks' future that he has owned up to it.


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Ryan Phillips

RYAN PHILLIPS

Ryan Phillips is a senior writer on the Breaking and Trending News team at Sports Illustrated. He has worked in digital media since 2009, spending eight years at The Big Lead before joining SI in 2024. Phillips also co-hosts The Assembly Call Podcast about Indiana Hoosiers basketball and previously worked at Bleacher Report. He is a proud San Diego native and a graduate of Indiana University’s journalism program.