Luka Doncic said he "played terrible" but expressed his pride at the Dallas Mavericks' season on the whole after they were eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors booked their berth in the NBA Finals with a 120-110 win in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday – Klay Thompson contributing a game-high 32 points.
Doncic had 28 points, nine rebounds and six assists, but it was far from a vintage performance from the Mavs' talisman.
He was only 10-of-28 shooting from the floor, including making just three-of-13 three-pointers, while in the first half alone he was just two-of-12 and had three turnovers.
"I don't like losing, especially like this. I played terrible," Doncic said.
Despite his struggles on the night, it marked the 10th time during this season's playoffs that Doncic had topped the stats sheets in points, rebounds and assists for the Mavs. That marked a new record for the most during a single postseason, with LeBron James holding the previous benchmark in 2013.
"If we talk about our season, I'm really proud of this team. Everybody, every player, every staff member," said Doncic, who averaged 31.7 points, 9.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists in the playoffs.
"Nobody had us here. But I promise we fought until the end. Congratulations to the Warriors. They were obviously the better team. But I'm really proud of this team."
Asked what the Mavs need to do to progress to becoming a championship team, Doncic was unequivocal in his reply.
"I think defense has got to be way better for me," he said.
"Honestly, I think I made a huge step this year defensively, but there's so much room for improvement. I've got to be way better there.
"I think that's one spot that can take us to the next level."