NBA

Doncic 'still learning' after Warriors go three up against the Mavericks

By Sports Desk May 23, 2022

Luka Doncic said he is "still learning", with his 40-point haul not enough to prevent the Dallas Mavericks from going 3-0 down in the Western Conference Finals series to the Golden State Warriors.

The 109-100 defeat in American Airlines Center means the Mavs have the unlikely task of needing to win the next four games in a row to make the NBA finals.

Doncic top scored in the game, while also making 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks, but felt he did not play well enough in the first half.

Spencer Dinwiddie (26) and Jalen Brunson (20) offered assistance but the hosts just could not keep up with the Warriors, with Stephen Curry coming away with 31 points and 11 assists.

"I'm still learning," Doncic said after the game. "I think the first two quarters, I played very bad. That's on me. But I'm still learning. I think after this season is done, whatever we are, I think we're going to look back and learn a lot of things.

"It's my first time in the Conference Finals in the NBA. I'm 23, man. I'm still learning a lot."

Despite Doncic's concerns about the first two quarters, it was the third where the game got away from Dallas, with the Warriors extending their half-time lead of one point to 10 points by the start of the fourth quarter.

However, the Slovenian praised the Warriors for their form and credited their development as a team over recent years.

"I think the Warriors are playing incredible," he added. "Everybody knows their role. Everybody just stays together.

"They're a long-built team. They've been together for a long time, and I think they're playing good basketball, so that's what I think is going to be really difficult. And these past three games, it's been very difficult."

Mavs head coach Jason Kidd offered similar thoughts, and insisted his team are just at the start of their "journey".

"This is just the beginning of this journey," Kidd said. "I know you guys had us winning the championship before the season started, and that's a joke if you didn't get it. But this is a lot bigger than just this one game or this one series. This is huge for our franchise because none of you guys had us here.

"So it's cool to go through this, and we're going against... you can call them a dynasty. They have three great players who will be hall of famers, and this is a great lesson learned from us.

"This isn't the end. This is just the beginning."

Related items

  • Fabio Carvalho is 'the perfect player', claims Liverpool team-mate Fabio Carvalho is 'the perfect player', claims Liverpool team-mate

    Harvey Elliott knows all about Liverpool's new "perfect player" Fabio Carvalho and expects the rest of the Premier League soon will, too.

    Carvalho, like Elliott, came through Fulham's academy, and the pair are separated by less than a year.

    They never played together in Fulham's first team, with Elliott leaving for Liverpool a year before Carvalho's professional debut, but the Portugal Under-21 international has now followed his former youth team-mate to Anfield.

    Both men face a battle to get into a Liverpool attack that was boosted on Friday by news of Mohamed Salah's new contract, with Sadio Mane's departure offset by the signing of Darwin Nunez.

    However, Elliott started three of the Reds' first four league games last season before dislocating his ankle, and he is confident Carvalho also has the quality to break into the team.

    "He brings everything, in all fairness," Elliott told Liverpool's official website. "He has a great attitude, he has the flair, the skill, the determination, and he can score and assist as well."

    A key part of the Fulham team who won the Championship last season, Carvalho contributed 10 goals and eight assists – a goal involvement every 158 minutes – with his 139 shot involvements ranking 15th across the entire division.

    Still just 19, he was the youngest player to score five goals, provide five assists, attempt 50 shots or create 50 chances.

    "He's the perfect player, in my eyes," Elliott continued, "and to have him on board and to have him in the building and around us, he'll only make us better players as well, and it will only make him a better player. 

    "It's been a long time, and to hopefully share the pitch with him again and to have that link-up, it'll be great and I'm just looking forward to it. 

    "Hopefully he can show everyone why we signed him."

    Carvalho's Premier League debut could come in familiar surroundings, as Liverpool face Fulham on the opening day of the new season.

  • Everton sign Tarkowski after defender leaves Burnley Everton sign Tarkowski after defender leaves Burnley

    James Tarkowski has signed for Everton on a free transfer following the expiration of his Burnley contract.

    Tarkowski has secured a four-year deal, keeping him at Everton until June 2026.

    The 29-year-old, who has two England caps, becomes Frank Lampard's first signing of the transfer window, as the Everton manager looks to improve on the squad that finished 16th last season.

    Defence was a major area of concern under Lampard and his predecessor Rafael Benitez, with Ben Godfrey and Yerry Mina suffering injury-hit campaigns. Indeed, Everton conceded 66 goals in the 2021-22 season, the 16th-worst total in the Premier League.

    While Tarkowski was unable to help Burnley retain their top-flight status, the centre-back had a strong individual campaign.

    No defender in the league competed for (217) or won more aerial duels (153) than Tarkowski.

    Brentford's Pontus Jansson, with 186, was the only defender to make more clearances than Tarkowski's 183, while Everton's new addition also ranked second for headed clearances (101).

    "I'm excited to have joined Everton. It's a massive club. I'm really looking forward to the years ahead and I'm thankful for the opportunity that I've been given," Tarkowski told Everton's official website.

    "Speaking to the manager, it was very important to see what he wants from his players and his team, what he saw in me and why he wanted to sign me.

    "I'm an ambitious person, I want to achieve, I want to win things and I've come here to be successful."

    While they have strengthened in defence, Everton's financial issues have resulted in the sale of star forward Richarlison, whose move to Tottenham went through on Friday for a reported £50million fee, with add-ons taking the deal potentially up to £60m.

    The Toffees have been linked with Spurs midfielder Harry Winks, while reports of interest in Jesse Lingard – another free agent after he left Manchester United – have also emerged.

  • Mkhitaryan completes move to Inter after 'perfect end' to Roma career Mkhitaryan completes move to Inter after 'perfect end' to Roma career

    Henrikh Mkhitaryan says winning the Europa Conference League was the "perfect conclusion" to his Roma career after finalising a move to Serie A rivals Inter.

    The ex-Armenia international spent three years at Stadio Olimpico, the first of those on loan, following an underwhelming spell in England with Manchester United and Arsenal.

    Mkhitaryan made 117 appearances for Roma – only four others featured more regularly during his time at the club – and directly contributed to 55 goals.

    Indeed, over that period, Lorenzo Pellegrini (56) was the only player to score and assist more goals for the Giallorossi in all competitions.

    He played nine times in Roma's successful Europa Conference League campaign under Jose Mourinho last time out, with that the Italian side's first trophy in 60 years.

    Following the expiration of his Roma contract earlier this week, Mkhitaryan was unveiled as an Inter player on Saturday on a reported two-year deal.

    Mkhitaryan posted an emotional farewell to Roma supporters on his social media, reserving special praise for head coach Mourinho.

    "Roma is a truly unique club," he said in an open letter. "Your support has been outstanding and I will always be very proud of it.

    "When I wore this shirt for the first time, I had a goal: to make this club win and to make its fantastic fans happy. Goal achieved in Tirana! 

    "This triumph was the perfect conclusion to my three years in the Giallorossi. Now it's time to say goodbye.

    "I want to thank all the people who work in the club for the special relationship built together over the years. 

    "A huge thank you to our technical staff and in particular to Mr. Mourinho for his trust and attention towards me and for the extraordinary motivations he gave me as a player.

    "I gave my all for Roma on and off the pitch. It was a great honour to play here and I will never forget the amazing moments we had together. 

    "This club and the Eternal City will remain forever in my heart. I love you!"

    Mkhitaryan is Inter's fourth confirmed signing of the transfer window following the arrivals of Andre Onana, Romelu Lukaku and Kristjan Asllani, the latter two joining on loan.

    Simone Inzaghi's side, who finished second to Milan in a tense Scudetto battle last time out, begin their 2022-23 Serie A campaign away at Lecce on August 13.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.