The Mavericks trail the Celtics 3-0 in the best-of-seven series. In NBA history, teams attempting to come back from that deficit are 0-156. Kyrie Irving is ready for battle in Game 4.

“This is a metaphor here. Just be ready,” Irving said with a smile. “Just go home, get the ammo ready, get the bazooka, the 50 cal ready. Get everything ready because when we come into Game 4, we know we got to shoot our shots and we got to do with aggression. … For me personally, again, I’m going home, dusting off the tools, and just getting ready for a tough Game 4.”

Irving had his best game of the series, scoring 35 points in the loss, but it wasn’t enough to lift Dallas past Boston.

“Kyrie was great tonight,” Celtics guard Jaylen Brown told ESPN’s Lisa Salters, as seen on ABC’s postgame coverage. “That was a vintage Kyrie performance. It just wasn’t enough.”

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Mavericks star Luka Doncic had a solid night offensively in Game 3, but Boston was able to exploit him defensively and Doncic fouled out with 4:12 remaining in the game with the Mavericks trailing by three.

“It’s not the first time a team has tried to target Luka on the defensive end. For us, we’re just trying to put a great shell defense around not only him, but the rest of the team,” Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving told reporters, per league-provided video. “It’s going to be a great defensive challenge for anybody to guard Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. You have other guys that are playing roles that are pretty much great team roles they filled.”

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Irving continued: “Jrue Holiday, Al Horford, they’re great offensive players too, but when you have those guys on the backside making decisions, playing high IQ, they’re going to make you pay for your mistakes. Then you got Derrick White catching the ball by his waist or above his head and still shooting the threes and making timely threes. You got to give them credit.”

With Doncic on the bench, the Celtics focused on guarding Irving who admitted it was on him to take over the Dallas offense.

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“I don’t think I really had a choice. It was unfortunate that the foul was called. Luka picked up his fifth and sixth in a matter of a three-minute or two-minute span. It’s tough,” Irving said. “We still had to figure out a way to win the basketball game. We put our best foot forward, especially being down 21. We easily could have packed it up and folded.”

Irving continued: “But, we didn’t give up. We kept playing. The guys that were out there, we kept competing. Felt like we gave ourselves a chance to win down the stretch.”

Featured image via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images