The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Sacramento Kings in overtime on Saturday, 133-128, in what marked Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic‘s first game as teammates. Doncic suited up for the first time since Irving was traded from the Brooklyn Nets, after missing four games with a heel injury.
Dallas was unable to withstand an inspired performance from Kings star DeAaron Fox, who tallied 36 points, 14 of which came in overtime. The Mavericks’ fate was sealed after Doncic missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with about nine seconds to play.
Following the loss, Irving shared his thoughts on the team’s last stitch effort to tie the game.
“There were nine seconds left, we had to get a shot up anyway. Either way, it was going to be a great shot for him shooting it or me shooting it, just reading off of him,” Irving said via Grant Afseth of Dallasbasketball.com. “No pressure in terms of giving me the ball in those situations, if he feels confident enough to take the shot. I feel like when he shoots or anyone shoots on our team it’s a great look as long they’re confident in it. So, I think it could’ve gone either way. If he would have passed it to me it probably could’ve been a different result, maybe not. But, the what ifs don’t matter.”
Mavericks’ Kyrie Irving Discusses First Game Alongside Luka Doncic
The 30-year-old guard also shared some thoughts on the duo’s first game as teammates. He expressed excitement about the “special” pairing.
“Grateful we got it out of the way. But while I was out there, it felt really special just in terms of the opportunities we had both ends of the floor to really learn from one another, and just gain some more confidence,” he said. “Tonight was just one of those games where it could’ve gone either way. Obviously, I wish we could’ve gotten the win, but we’ll just learn from this and move forward.”
Despite coming up short, the Mavs’ star pairing pieced together an impressive debut. They combined for 55 total points, with Irving scoring 28 and Doncic putting up 27.
Luka Doncic Shares Thoughts on Kyrie Irving, Missed Shot
Doncic also spoke with the media after the February 11 loss to the Kings. The Slovenian star sounded excited to being playing alongside Uncle Drew, calling their first run “fun.”
“It’s only our first game together, but it’s so fun to play with this guy,” Doncic said via Afseth. “He’s an amazing basketball player, and I think it’s going to be really fun. First game, it was really fun.”
Dallas’ home-grown superstar did feel bad for taking the potential game-tying shot. He was scoreless through the entire fourth quarter and overtime up until that point, while Irving had scored 16 points in the same span.
“It’s my bad,” Doncic said. “Should have gave it back to Ky. For me, it’s still a learning process. But for sure, I should have gave it back. He was really hot down the stretch, so that was on me for sure.”
Irving and Doncic will have a chance to bounce back on Monday night, when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves back in Dallas.