The Dallas Mavericks picked up a big win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night, behind a huge scoring outburst from their star pairing. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving combined to score 82 points, becoming the first pair of Mavericks teammates to each score over 40 points in a single game.
The two have been teammates for about a month now, after the front office swung a deal to land Irving on February 5. Dallas sent Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a first-round pick, and multiple seconds to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for the All-Star guard.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Tim MacMahon, Irving’s co-star was heavily pushing for the front office to make the blockbuster deal.
“Doncic, a three-time All-NBA selection who turned 24 on Feb. 28, had grown frustrated the Mavs were floating around .500 despite him playing better than ever, and team and league sources said he privately had been pushing the front office to find a way to acquire the co-star required for the Mavs to have any chance to contend for a championship.”
Kyrie Irving Praises Luka Doncic After Big Mavs Win
After the star-duo lit up the 76ers, Irving sat down with reporters and discussed the big night, throwing some serious praise in Doncic’s direction.
“I just embraced my teammates,” Irving said. “It was a hard-fought game. And we did everything to make sure we were poised down the stretch. We’re just paying attention to the game plan. There’s been a few losses over last week where we felt like they were very winnable games, and it came down to the [final] stretch. You know, three points, four points, two points. So, it was definitely a different approach tonight for us as a team because we really wanted this. I really wanted this. But I think, like I said, the last time I was sitting up here, I just had to join the party. You know, and just make sure my teammates were going to follow along. And Luka was ready for the party, I was ready for the party tonight. And it was one of those games where we had some special performances, and I’m just grateful that the work translated because it could have gone either way. We could either kind of lay down and just let things happen and kind of blame it on the refs or blame it on other things, but sitting up here every single night and not having excuses. It’s knowing we just got to respond and do what’s necessary to win ball games. So, it felt good.”
Mavs’ Kyrie Irving ‘Excited’ to Face Off Against Kevin Durant, Suns
Irving’s former teammate, Kevin Durant, will be in town Sunday for a prime-time matchup with the Mavericks.
Following Thursday’s win, Uncle Drew told the media he was looking forward to facing off against KD.
“Playing against the new-look Suns with KD and I think it’ll be an exciting time for us to compete again, compete against each other,” Irving said after hanging 40 on Philly. “That’s my brother for life, again, but when we’re stepping out there I’m looking forward to the competition, the friendly competition.”