Luka Doncic said he was simply exhausted after the Dallas Mavericks failed to capitalise on an NBA-record 30-point run in Saturday's "rollercoaster" defeat to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
A depleted Mavericks side found themselves facing a 24-point deficit at one stage, but Doncic played a talismanic role to drag his team back into contention.
Dallas took the lead with a 30-0 run in the fourth quarter, the best in the NBA in the PXP era (since 1996-97), which took them from 111-87 down to 117-111 up.
Doncic finished with a game-high 36 points while also adding 15 rebounds and 18 assists, but his terrific performance wasn't enough as the Thunder rallied again for a 126-120 victory.
Having played his part in a thrilling contest one day after becoming a father for the first time on Friday, Doncic struggled to hide his fatigue.
"It was the happiest day of my life with the baby, but then today's game was a big rollercoaster too," Doncic said after the game.
"I'm so sad we didn't win this game, but man, we gave a big, big effort. I was a little bit exhausted."
Doncic was frustrated by his finish to the game after committing two turnovers in the last 87 seconds, with the first the result of a travelling call which infuriated the four-time All-Star.
"My view is it probably was a travel, but those travels happen about, in my opinion, 20 times a game," he said.
"So a minute and a half to go, if you're going to call that travel for the first time in the game… you can't do that.
"I don't think so. I think those travels happen a lot of times in one game and the NBA doesn't call the travels, so I was really surprised."
The Mavericks are now 11-8 after suffering back-to-back defeats, and they will look to respond when they welcome the Utah Jazz to American Airlines Center on Wednesday.
The Mavericks’ 30-0 run in the 4th quarter is the longest run without allowing an opposing team basket in the PXP era (since 1996-97). This occurred from 11:09 to 4:18 in the 4th Quarter (111-87 to 111-117).— NBA History (@NBAHistory) December 3, 2023
Previous record: Cavaliers – 29-0 run (CLE v MIL, Dec. 6, 2009) https://t.co/JvVXDCGbOt