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Kyrie praises Luka's clutch play: 'He's built for these moments'

Jordan Johnson / National Basketball Association / Getty

Kyrie Irving had nothing but praise for teammate Luka Doncic after the latter's late-game heroics lifted the Dallas Mavericks to a 2-0 series lead over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

"He's prepared for these moments, and he's built for these moments," Irving told reporters following the Mavs' 109-108 Game 2 win, according to ESPN's Tim MacMahon. "So things like that happen. I'm not surprised, but as a brother, I'm just nothing short of proud. He took us home tonight, man."

Doncic buried a step-back triple over the outstretched arms of Rudy Gobert with three seconds left to cap an 18-point comeback.

It was the Mavs star's second career game-winning three in the final five seconds of a playoff game. He joined LeBron James, Damian Lillard, Reggie Miller, and Robert Horry as the only players to accomplish the feat during the play-by-play era, per MacMahon.

Doncic tallied 32 points, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds for his fourth triple-double in five games. Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, and Nikola Jokic are the only other players who've posted as many triple-doubles in the same span during a single postseason, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

"As you've seen, he loves that stage," said Mavs head coach Jason Kidd. "He doesn't run from it. He made a big shot. ... Luka is special. He loves those type of moments."

The West final shifts to Dallas on Sunday for Game 3. The Mavs are 4-2 at home during this year's postseason run.

Dallas is seeking its first Finals appearance since 2011, when Kidd played a key role in securing the franchise's lone NBA championship.

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