Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd hailed Luka Doncic after his starring role in their Game 4 win over the Golden State Warriors having been named in the All-NBA first team earlier on Tuesday.
Doncic had a near triple-double with 30 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists as the Mavericks won 119-109 over the Warriors to avoid a clean sweep.
Earlier in the day, Doncic had been named alongside Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum and Devin Booker in the All-NBA first team for the third time in his career.
"I don’t think anybody is surprised that he's first team but it's really cool," Kidd told reporters.
"It shows the talent level. The other four are pretty talented too. It shows where he's going, his growth."
Kidd was full of praise for Doncic, who also had two steals and two blocks in Game 4, playing a key role in the fourth quarter to ward off the Warriors' late charge.
"What he does for this team is incredible, not just points and assists, but being able to rebound the ball," Kidd said.
"At the end, he came up with a nice little blocked shot to pad his defensive stats. He's our leader. When he goes, we go. He loves that stage.
"Being first team with the other four, it's a great honour for him."
The 2021-22 Kia All-NBA First Team— NBA (@NBA) May 25, 2022
Giannis Antetokounmpo ( @Bucks )
Devin Booker ( @Suns )
Luka Doncic ( @dallasmavs )
Nikola Jokic ( @nuggets )
Jayson Tatum ( @celtics ) #NBA75 #NBAAwards pic.twitter.com/MrhuZS5hUG
Doncic, 23, was delighted with the accolade, which comes for the third straight season, having joined the Mavs in 2018.
"It's a blessing," Doncic told reporters. "As a kid I only dreamed of being in the NBA, and now it's my third All-NBA team.
"It's a blessing. I'm really happy and thankful to everybody that made it happen."
Doncic was also hopeful about the Mavericks in the Conference Finals despite history being against his side, who trail the Warriors 3-1.
Tuesday's win was the Mavs' fourth in franchise history in a Game 4 when facing a 3-0 deficit in a playoff series, losing Game 5 on the previous three occasions. Golden State has led 10 playoff series 3-0 in the past, sweeping six and winning in five on four occasions.
"I still believe we can win," Doncic said when asked if he was relieved to avoid a sweep.
"Swept or not swept, in the end, if you lose, you lose. It doesn’t matter how many you win, but we have to go game by game. We're going to believe until the end."