The Dallas Mavericks needed every minute from Luka Doncic to turn the series around against the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.

Doncic played well for the majority of Game 3, tallying 27 points and a plus-nine rating in 38 minutes. Unfortunately for Dallas, the star ran into foul trouble and watched his night come to a close late in the fourth quarter.

Doncic fouled out when he was charged with a blocking foul on Jaylen Brown with 4:12 remaining in the game. The Mavericks put the Celtics on their heels after Boston held a 21-point lead before losing Doncic for the final stretch. Ultimately, the Celtics closed the night on a 13-7 run to seal a 106-99 win to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.

“I mean, yeah, we had a good chance,” Doncic told reporters of the final stretch, per league-provided transcript. “We were close. Just didn’t get it. I wish I was out there.”

Story continues below advertisement

Doncic showed visible frustration toward officials throughout the night, hinting that he felt he could not play with clean physicality against the Celtics.

“I mean, I don’t know,” Doncic said. “We couldn’t play physical. I don’t know. I don’t want to say nothing. You know, six fouls in the NBA Finals, basically I’m like … c’mon, man. (Be) better than that.”

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

The Mavericks face a nearly insurmountable climb against the Celtics given that no NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 series deficit. Doncic and the Mavericks plan on a heightened response in Game 4.

“Like I said, it’s not over till it’s over,” Doncic added. “We just got to believe. Like I always say, it’s first to four. We’re going to stay together. We lose together, we win together. So we got to stay together.”

Story continues below advertisement

The Celtics need just one more win to secure their first NBA championship since 2008. Game 4 is in Dallas on Friday night.

Featured image via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images