Lakers Standout Says He Knew Luka Doncic Would ‘Get Tired’ in Mavs Collapse

Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks.

Getty Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks.

Sunday’s game was a rollercoaster ride for the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs came out strong against the Los Angeles Lakers, building a 27-point lead in the first half. It was all downhill from there, as the Lakers stormed back and stole a 111-108 victory in Dallas.

A large part of the Mavericks’ collapse was the second-half disappearance of both Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. The star duo combined for just 23 points, while shooting 8-23 from the floor.

Newly acquired Lakers forward Jarred Vanderbilt was tasked with defending Doncic all day. Vanderbilt was not only able to slow down the Slovenian star, but also contributed 15 points and 17 rebounds for Los Angeles.

Following his team’s big comeback win, the 23-year-old sat down with the media, breaking down his gameplan when guarding Doncic.

“My mindset was just to make him uncomfortable. He’s a hell of a player when he’s comfortable and he can get into his rhythm and get into his zone,” Vanderbilt told reporters. “So, I was trying to disrupt that. Just picking him up, 94 (feet), just making him work. I knew throughout the course of the game he was going to get tired and get fatigued. Just bringing the ball up and down the whole court and then try and make a move after I already cut eight seconds off the clock. I knew he was going to get tired. My thing was to just get up in him and force him to drive, just be physical with him and make him uncomfortable. I think in the second half we did a good job of that without fouling.”

Jason Kidd Slams Mavs After Monumental Collapse

Dallas’ head coach Jason Kidd was none-too-pleased with his team’s performance against the Lakers. He slammed his team when speaking to reporters, saying that they need to be more mature.

“I’m not the savior here. I’m not playing. I’m watching, just like you guys,” he told the media. “As a team, we’ve got to mature. We’ve got a lot of new bodies coming back and we have to grow up if we want to win a championship. There’s no young team that’s ever won a championship, mentally or physically… For two and a half quarters we’re playing a high level on both ends, offensively and defensively. But, what the Lakers just showed us is that it’s not a race, it’s not the rabbit that wins, it’s the turtle. They worked the game. That’s what we have to get to, we have to get better at working the game, and we will.”

Kyrie Irving Discusses Mavericks Collapse vs Lakers

Irving’s lackluster second half was certainly a contributing factor in Dallas’ collapse against L.A.

He totaled just 9 points in 20 minutes, making just 3 of his 12 attempts from the field.

The 30-year-old took blame after the loss, saying he should’ve been better down the stretch.

I think we showed some great poise in the third quarter. But in that fourth quarter, I have to do a better job of just getting us into some initiated offensive sets and just be aggressive and not kind of force my way into the lane,” Irving said via Grant Afseth.

Read More