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Luka shoulders blame for Game 4 loss vs. Clippers

Tim Warner / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Dallas Mavericks nearly completed a 31-point comeback in Sunday's Game 4 against the Los Angeles Clippers but ultimately failed to take a stranglehold on the series with a 116-111 loss.

Superstar Luka Doncic took responsibility for the Mavericks losing postgame, claiming he needed to do more to support teammate Kyrie Irving.

"I just got to help (Irving) more," Doncic said, according to ESPN's Tim MacMahon. "He's given everything that he has, and he's been amazing for us the whole series."

Irving had a dazzling 40-point performance, going 14-of-25 from the field and 6-of-12 from three. The eight-time All-Star also hit one of the most improbable layups of the postseason with two minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd credited Irving with driving the team's second-half comeback.

"If he didn't get going, that game would have been over in the first (quarter)," Kidd said, according to Grant Afseth of

Irving has looked strong all series, averaging 28.8 points while shooting 48.5% from deep in Dallas' four playoff games.

But Doncic had another inefficient outing in Game 4, going 10-of-24 from the field and 1-of-8 from downtown. Despite his poor shooting, the MVP finalist managed to record a triple-double, posting 29 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in 44 minutes.

Doncic's been dealing with right knee soreness, which had him listed as questionable on the Mavericks' pregame injury report Sunday.

"It's hurting, obviously, but it shouldn't be an excuse, man," Doncic said, according to MacMahon.

However, Kidd defended Doncic, telling reporters that he thought the 25-year-old "did everything he could" and "competed on both ends," per MacMahon.

With the series tied at two games apiece, Game 5 takes place in L.A. on Wednesday.

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