It did not sit well with Dallas Mavericks fans that they lost Game 3 of the NBA Finals. They flocked to American Airlines Center and made it as loud as possible. Those momentum-shifting plays early on by Jason Kidd's squad got them all riled up. However, the clutch was not too kind to them against the Boston Celtics. Kyrie Irving was already heating up but, as fate would have it, Luka Doncic fouled out after a collision with Jaylen Brown. This was the tipping point for ESPN's Brian Windhorst, who blasted the superstar for his performance after the game.

“This defensive performance is unacceptable. He's a hole on the court and the Celtics are attacking him and they are ahead in this series because they have attacked him defensively. You have a situation where Luka is complaining about the officiating. They have begged him… He's costing his team because of how he treats the officials. He's a brilliant player, he does so many things well, they're here because of how he did. His performance in this game was unacceptable and the reason why the Mavericks won't win,” Brian Windhorst said.

Luka Doncic typically gets a lot of praise. Throughout these playoffs and into the NBA Finals, he has received a lot of credit for leading the Mavericks on this run. But this was not the case after their Game 3 loss that has Dallas on the verge of a sweep. While some fans were mad at the officiating, Windhorst just couldn't help but be embarrassed by superstar's defensive efforts.

Mavericks star fouls out

Jun 12, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts after fouling out of the game against the Boston Celtics during the fourth quarter during game three of the 2024 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
© Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Windy even went on to blast Luka Doncic's attitude when he was called for his final foul before getting sent to the bench.

“When Luka fell to the ground there in an unacceptable position with four minutes left and five fouls, then immediately looks at the bench like, ‘You better bleeping challenge that,' as if it's the bench's fault he made a terrible play. I am standing here in the Mavericks' tunnel, over there is the Celtics' tunnel where the winners are. If Luka is ever gonna be a winner coming out of the tunnel, he's gonna have to use what's happened in these NBA Finals as a learning experience,” he added.

The Mavericks nearly erased a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit thanks to a monster surge. While Doncic played a part in the comeback, his poor effort was also a reason Dallas got behind by so much in the first place. And then when the Mavs needed him most in crunch time, he fouled out thanks to some questionable decision-making.

Doncic still finished with a strong stat line of 27 points, six rebounds, and six assists, but he shot just 11-of-27 from the field and 1-of-7 from 3-point range. That poor efficiency and bad defense made this an overall subpar game for the superstar, who admittedly has been playing through some injuries. Still, even with those injuries, Doncic's attitude is an issue Windhorst has taken issue with.

Now, the Mavericks are in a deep 3-0 hole in the NBA Finals. No team in NBA history has managed to come back from this series deficit, but it is never too late to be the outlier to the rule.