The Dallas Mavericks lost the NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics, but it wasn’t because Luka Doncic didn’t play his best.

Doncic averaged 28.9 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 8.2 assists in the playoffs, but the Celtics’ defense was more dominant down the stretch.

“They were physical a lot,” he said, as seen on NBA’s postgame coverage. “They have great defenders. … They’re a great team. That’s what they do.”

The 25-year-old Mavericks superstar made his first Finals appearance in just his sixth NBA season. Doncic said he didn’t know yet what this loss would mean for him and the Mavericks going into next season, but points out they can learn from the Celtics.

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“Right now, I really don’t know,” Doncic said. “That’s not what I’m thinking. But they’re a great team. They have been together for a long time, and they had to go through everything, so we just got to look at them, see how they play, maturity, and they have some great players. We can learn from that. We got to fight next season.”

Doncic couldn’t put together what was going through his mind when he spoke about the loss, but he did talk about how he was feeling physically.

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“Nothing. Sad we lost. No specific,” Doncic told reporters. “It doesn’t if I was hurt, how much I was hurt. I was out there. I tried to play, but I didn’t do enough.”

Although Doncic said he wasn’t ready to talk about “what’s next” for him when it comes to the Olympics, he did share what was discussed with Kyrie Irving after the loss.

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“Just stay together, man. I think just having Ky on my team — I mean, on our team, he’s unbelievable,” Doncic said. “Just help him. We said, ‘We’ll fight together next season,’ and we just going to believe.”

Even though the Mavericks couldn’t get past the Celtics for his first title, Doncic believes the franchise is headed in the right direction.

“I feel great (about the organization). We did some great moves,” he said. “I would say we’ve been together for five months. I’m proud of every guy that stepped on the floor, all the coaches, all the people behind. Obviously, we didn’t win the Finals, but we did have a hell of a season, and I’m proud of every one of them.”

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images