Luka Doncic is optimistic because ‘this team is special’

By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]

After tying the best-of-seven series at three wins apiece, the Dallas Mavericks must beat the Phoenix Suns on the road to extend their 2021-22 campaign into the NBA Playoffs Western Conference Finals.

“This team. I know the guys. I know the coaching staff. Because of this team, we have an opportunity. This team is special and these are great guys. We play hard and we help each other. So that’s what gives me hope,” Luka Doncic replied to a question on why he believes the Mavs can clinch the series in Footprint Center Sunday.

“I like when people trash-talk to me. It gets me going. It’s fun. It’s basketball,” he added regarding another key part of the NBA Playoffs and the ongoing series in particular.

Doncic, 23, registered 33 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, and four steals over 35 minutes in Game 6. His side cruised to victory adding to the home dominance of both teams through the first six games of the series. However, he dealt with a leg injury in the first half.

“I just felt like a little pop from the beginning. Then when I warmed up, it was kind of OK. But now it is a little bit worse. But it’s nothing serious,” said the Slovenian guard, “I will play through that.”

The Mavericks have not won in Phoenix since 2019. Back in Arizona on Sunday, it will be a win-or-go-home game for both sides. The winner will face the Golden State Warriors or Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals Wednesday.

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