Luka Dončić Says He Apologized to Mavs After Fouling Out in Game 3 of NBA Finals

Luka Dončić Says He Apologized to Mavs After Fouling Out in Game 3 of NBA Finals
Andrew PetersJune 13, 2024

DALLAS, TEXAS - JUNE 12: Luka Dončić #77 of the Dallas Mavericks walks across the court in the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics in Game Three of the 2024 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center on June 12, 2024 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Luka Dončić had a disappointing exit after fouling out of Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics, and the Dallas Mavericks star said that he apologized to his teammates after the loss.

“It wasn’t the smartest thing to do, especially in this situation, it’s the Finals,” he told Malika Andrews of NBA Today. “We got to give everything. We’re tired out there… It’s my bad, you can’t do that, especially in the NBA Finals. Regular season’s a little bit different, but you can’t really do that in the Finals.”

Malika Andrews @malika_andrews

Luka Doncic admits he let Dallas down in Game 3, telling his teammates: “My bad, you can’t do that — especially in the NBA Finals.”

Our interview on fouling out for the first time in the playoffs, needing another pain killing shot for Game 4 and trying to make history down 0-3:

Dončić had 27 points, six assists and six rebounds in the 106-99 loss, fouling out in the final minutes of the fourth quarter after playing 38 minutes.

The 25-year-old has been one of the only bright spots for Dallas in the Finals, averaging 29.7 points, nine rebounds and six assists in the series, but his mistakes down the stretch proved costly for the Mavericks on Wednesday.

His final foul of the game came after the Celtics brought in a defensive rebound and Dončić went for the ball in the backcourt. It cost the Mavs their best player being out of the game for the final four minutes. Four of his fouls also came in the final eight minutes of the game.

Per The Athletic’s Joe Vardon, Dončić said picking up that many fouls in that short of a time frame has “never happened” to him.

“We couldn’t play physical,” he said. “I don’t want to say nothing. You know, six fouls in the NBA Finals, basically I’m like this (motions with palms out). C’mon, man. Better than that.”

With the Mavericks now facing a 3-0 deficit, they don’t have time to think about Dončić’s fouls and will need to instead shift their focus on avoiding a sweep.

Dallas seemed to have flipped a switch in the second half of Wednesday’s matchup, erasing a massive Celtics lead and cutting it to a one-point game, but after Dončić fouled out, the Mavericks’ hopes of a comeback fell short.

The Mavericks will now need to make history and overcome a 3-0 deficit to win their first title since 2011, and that quest will start with Dončić staying out of foul trouble.

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