DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks were defeated in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals 105-100 by the Minnesota Timberwolves. They had a chance to sweep the series but ultimately fell short on Tuesday night. Luka Doncic took the blame for the Mavs' Game 4 defeat.

“I think that game is on me,” Doncic told reporters after the game. “Just didn't give enough energy. So we gotta do better. They won one game, we just gotta focus on the next one.”

Anthony Edwards led Minnesota to the victory. The Mavs still lead the series 3-1, however.

Kyrie Irving was asked about Doncic's comments after the loss. Irving said Doncic is “not alone in this,” but admitted that he expected the Mavs star to make a comment like that.

“I mean, he's not alone in this,” Irving said. “I expect him to say something like that, especially knowing how much he cares and how much he wants to win. How much he wants to lead our group. So I expect nothing less. I think you heard me too just say that it's on me. That's what you're supposed to hear from the leaders of your team. We know that we didn't play with the best energy, we didn't create enough opportunities for us to get easy baskets… Just gotta take the hit on the chin, man.

“It's not the first time we've been hit. Just competitive sports. It's what makes it great.”

Mavericks focused on Game 5

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) walks off the floor after the game between the Mavericks and the Minnesota Timberwolves in game four of the western conference finals for the 2024 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Mavs still hold a comfortable series lead. They are focused on taking care of business in Game 5. Perhaps the Game 4 defeat will give the Mavs added motivation to win on the road on Thursday.

“We won three games, like I said it's first to four,” Doncic later added. “No matter if you win in four or in seven, just gotta win four.”

Doncic was also asked about the Mavericks' mindset heading into Game 5. For Luka, the answer is straight-forward.

“We gotta win four games. What mindset? We gotta win one more game, that's it.”

Kyrie Irving has plenty of postseason experience. He believes that Dallas can bounce back and get the job done in Game 5.

“I just feel like we have a consistent fight about us,” Irving said. “It doesn't matter what lead we're dealing with, or if another team has a lead on us, we always feel like we're in a position to win a basketball game. I think tonight some of those shots that KAT (Karl-Anthony Towns) was hitting took the wind out of our sails. Anthony (Edwards) got down, got a few easy layups, few pull-ups. And then when we went down six, I just feel like we stopped pushing the ball a little bit. That starts with me. I just gotta continue to keep my pace up and get into the lane. Finish my shots that I have on Rudy (Gobert).

“Those are things that I'm going to correct moving forward. But I just gotta stay aggressive… We just have to consistently do the little things.. Coming out tonight we felt like we were okay. You can tell it was an emotional fatigue… Everybody was pressured. Now we just gotta deal with this one, deal with this loss and get ready for Minnesota and enjoy that ride there man because it's going to be hostile.”