Dallas Mavericks' Kyrie Irving Reveals How He Achieves Explosive Second Halves

Irving's scoring in the second half of games in this series has been big for the Mavericks
Apr 26, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) is interviewed after
Apr 26, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) is interviewed after / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks entered halftime of Game 3 against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night with a 54-41 lead despite Kyrie Irving scoring just 2 points, shooting just 1-4 and dealing with early foul trouble.

Much like he has all season, though, Irving turned it on in the second half, scoring 19 points in the final 24 minutes, including 8 points in the final 1:30 of the third quarter. Once again, his overall second-half performance had pushed Dallas to a 101-90 victory, pushing the Mavericks to a 2-1 series lead over the Clippers.

“Sometimes if you don't see your points total looking like normal you can psych yourself out of the game," said Irving after Game 3. "You can end up being in a position mentally where you are not able to still impact positively. That's something in competitive sports we don't talk about often, just the external pressure that people put on themselves to live up to certain expectations when it's just one game... Just being mature about it man. It's two points… It's about winning the game at the end of the day.”

Irving has made a theme of strong second-half scoring to thrive with Luka Doncic's preternatural first-half scoring, as Irving finished 7th in the NBA in second-half points per game this season. It's been on display throughout this series too. In Game 1 he scored 20 points in the third quarter after just 6 points in the first half. He's averaged 20.0 of his 25.0 points in this series after halftime.

The Mavericks have a chance to put a stranglehold on this series in Game 4 Sunday afternoon and having a player with Irving's experience helps in these scenarios. His steady presence in clutch moments is a big reason why many Dallas fans believed he should've been more heavily considered for the Clutch Player of the Year Award. Instead, he finished 7th in the voting.

“You're playing in the playoffs... If you look at some of the greatest players in history, some of their low moments, they didn't score much but they had a huge impact on the game. I try to have that same approach mentally, emotionally, spiritually," Irving told the media after Game 3," then allow my physical talents and abilities to play out in the right time in the right situation."

Game 4 tips off at 2:30 p.m. CST from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

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Austin Veazey


Austin Veazey joined NoleGameday as the Lead Basketball Writer in 2019, while contributing as a football writer, and started as editor for MavericksGameday in 2024. Veazey was a Florida State Men’s Basketball Manager from 2016-2019. Follow Austin on Twitter at @EasyVeazeyNG