After going 9-12 over the span of a month, Dallas seemed to be going down a dark path.
But Friday’s 111-110 road win over the Lakers without Luka Doncic may offer a slither of hope for their season.
This was all Kyrie Irving. This is why you trade for Kyrie. Kyrie attracted 3 defenders and down goes the Lakers.pic.twitter.com/PJR3vlJsEs
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) March 18, 2023
“Thirty-nine [minutes]? I did not plan for that at all,” Irving said. “We got the ‘W’ — that’s really the key to the rest of the season right now. Whatever it takes.
“I let the guys know before the game, ‘Let’s rock.’ They know what that entails. I just put my body on the line and live with the results.”
Irving went on to explain how the team came together to get the job done.
“We had some real conversations, grownup conversations, mature conversations that I can honestly say that in my 12 years or 11 years on every team we haven’t had those direct conversations sometimes,” Irving said. “It’s no comparison.
“It’s just we had a real group conversation that we needed to get some things out, and now we’re just living with the wins and losses because we’re together. Those conversations behind the scenes really matter for our organization, so it’s been happening.”
Doncic is hoping to return against Memphis on Monday, but both he and Irving are listed as questionable due to lingering injuries.
The run home will be crucial for the sixth-seeded Mavs, who are just two games away from falling out of the play-in.
The good news for Dallas is they have the seventh easiest schedule in the league, according to tankathon.com.