The Dallas Mavericks need to have all hands on deck as the season nears its end. They made an all-in move at the trade deadline, and now, it’s time for the entire team to step up and make it all worth it. On Saturday night, they made some progress toward that goal.
They took down the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday in crazy fashion, with Kyrie Irving hitting Maxi Kleber for the game-winning three with time expiring. After the game, however, head coach Jason Kidd was asked about the Mavericks’ loss to the Lakers earlier in the season (in which they blew a massive lead). He said that they were different games and also spoke about how tired his team is, name-dropping Josh Green in that regard.
“It’s not tit for tat. I think we learned from that we were up big we were up again here tonight,” Kidd explained via the Fanatics View YouTube channel. “They made a run. We stayed connected. We executed down the stretch when we had to. Guys are tired. Josh is tired. He’s playing a lot of minutes. But everybody’s giving their all, and as we get healthy, I think that’s just going to make us that much stronger. And hopefully we get LD [Luka Doncic] back here soon, and then we can start to get a rhythm here down the end of the season.”
Before Irving made his return to the court against the Lakers, it was largely up to Green to carry the load for the Mavericks. He had been playing a ton of minutes, but with Irving returning, he can step back into a complementary role.
Against the Lakers, Irving was stupendous. The superstar point guard finished the game with 38 points, six rebounds, and six assists on 14-of-23 shooting from the field and 5-of-9 shooting from behind the three-point line.
Kyrie Irving Breaks Down Final Play vs. Lakers
After the game, Irving broke down the final play of the game in which he dimed up Kleber for the game-winning bucket.
“It seemed like three of them were around me at the end of the game,” Irving said via the Fanatics View YouTube channel. “But I’m just grateful that I was able to have my head on the swivel. I thought about, for a split second, forcing that two up to tie the basketball game. But I saw Maxi open. I saw AD [Anthony Davis] kind of helping a little too much. So, I tried to get it into his shot pocket, and I’m glad I got it to him with enough time to at least get the shot off. I could easily be sitting in this position with a loss. It was just that type of game. But I’m glad we were resilient. We got really lucky and fortunate at the end of regulation tonight, so I’m glad it worked out for us.”
Maxi Kleber Shows Love to Kyrie Irving
Meanwhile, Kleber spoke about how it’s been being teammates with Irving after the game, showing love to the star point guard.
“First of all, he’s very experienced. Very calm,” Kleber said via the Fanatics View YouTube channel. “He knows how to talk to people [and] where to set up people. [He] sees the strengths in players and knows what he expects them to do. So, that helps a lot. And then, obviously, like I said, he’s a very, very great teammate. He always has positive spirits, uplifting words, and all that. So, I’m very appreciative to be able to play with him. I think I learn a lot from just his body language. The way he interacts with his teammates. Just a great character guy.”