NBA playoffs still the only goal for Dallas Mavericks, insists Luka Doncic

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The Dallas Mavericks are on a five-game winning streak, but Luka Doncic insists the playoffs are the team's only aim for now.
The Dallas Mavericks are on a five-game winning streak, but Luka Doncic insists the playoffs are the team's only aim for now.

Luka Doncic is adamant the Dallas Mavericks will not get carried away with their fantastic start to the NBA season, insisting a playoff place is their only goal as it stands.

Doncic was in sensational form as the Mavericks made it five wins in a row with a 137-123 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday.

The 20-year-old, who is in his second year in the NBA, posted 41 points and 10 assists for the Mavericks, joining Russell Westbrook, Michael Jordan and the Rockets' James Harden as the only players since the 1983-84 season with at least four consecutive games of 30 or more points and 10-plus assists.

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Sunday's triumph leaves the Mavericks - who have not featured in the postseason since 2016 - sitting fourth in the Western Conference with an 11-5 record for the season so far, but Doncic insists Dallas are not yet setting their sights on anything more than securing a playoff spot.

"For me, it's making the playoffs, still. It's a long season, it's only been one month. We didn’t make the playoffs yet, we've just got to keep going," the Slovenian told reporters.

"The confidence we had before the season, same as then. We all wanted to go to the playoffs, we've got to keep going like that and just approach the games like we did today.

"We are much more confident last year. Everybody covers for each other, plays the game the right way, that's it. We have amazing players on our team."

Doncic – who drew chants of 'MVP' from the fans – outsmarted Rockets star Harden for a sensational three-pointer during Sunday's meeting, and the Houston star conceded the home team left themselves with too much to do after falling behind early on.

"When you give a team like that comfort and the ability to do whatever they want, they'll gain confidence and that's what they did," seven-time All-Star Harden told reporters.

"We tried to come back twice, but that’s tough for any team. We can't put ourselves in that position. We were just a little sluggish."

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