Irving delighted to 'join the party' after making Mavs history with Doncic
Kyrie Irving feels he has finally "joined the party" after partnering with Luka Doncic to make franchise history in the Dallas Mavericks' 133-126 win against the Philadelphia 76ers.
The pair became the first Mavs team-mates to score at least 40 points each in the same game, with Doncic shooting 13-of-22 for his 42 points and Irving 15-of-22 for 40.
It is the third time Irving has reached the 40-point mark this season, and the first time since making a high-profile trade from the Brooklyn Nets on February 6.
The eight-time NBA All-Star spoke about "scaling back the pressure" earlier in the week in order to "show up to the party", and he did just that with his display against the Sixers.
"Like I said last time I was sitting up here, I just had to join the party and just make sure my team-mates were going to follow along," he said.
"Luka was ready for the party, I was ready for the party tonight, and it was one of those games where we had some special performances. I'm grateful that the work translated.
"I've got to keep it up. I've just got to keep it up and stay consistent in terms of just being prepared for when he's going to pass and get used to his flow in the game."
Irving has averaged 27 points across his 48 games for Dallas and Brooklyn this campaign, while fellow superstar Doncic leads the way in the NBA with 1,801 points overall.
The duo also combined for 18 assists, eight rebounds and four steals in Thursday's win against Philly at American Airlines Center, while hitting 13-of-21 from three-point range.
"I enjoyed watching those two working off of each other," Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. "As much as we play the game on paper, it's still played on the court.
"They've got to work through the kinks, but I think at the end of the day, we'll be happy with what we have."
Irving is the only player in NBA history to be part of a team-mate duo scoring 40-plus points each in regulation for two different teams.
The 30-year-old previously did so with LeBron James during his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it is now Doncic who is starting to build a strong partnership with Irving.
"Playing with him is so easy," said Doncic on the back of his sixth 40-point, 10-assist showing of the season. "He helps me a lot.
"The offense I don't think is a problem. I think offensively, we're good. It's just the defensive end. We've got to get stops."
The 33-31 Mavs are sixth in the Western Conference ahead of facing the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.