Luka Doncic feels pundits have to start taking the Dallas Mavericks seriously after they shocked the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 2 of their series in the NBA playoffs.
The Mavs triumphed 127-114 on Wednesday to level the first-round series at 1-1 against a team many oddsmakers have listed as favourites to become champions.
Doncic had 28 points, eight rebounds and seven assists but was restricted to only 28 minutes on court, spending much of the second half on the bench after getting into foul trouble.
The Slovenian previously recorded 42 points in the highest-scoring debut in postseason history as the Mavs narrowly lost in Game 1.
And he feels it is time his team, seventh seeds in the Western Conference, are considered to be a real danger to Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and the Clippers.
"They should be saying we got a chance in this first round," Doncic said when asked what high-profile NBA pundits would be making of their victory.
"A lot of people counted us out. I know a lot of people didn't count us in. But I know they should be saying we got a chance.
"The thing about us is we are going to give everything 100 per cent and leave our hearts on the court. That's the point for us.
"We've just got three [wins] left. I think we can fight with them. Any series we go in, we're going to believe we can win, for sure. If you don't believe it, you're not supposed to be here. You've got to believe it."
Doncic found watching from the sidelines as the game was on the line an initially difficult experience.
"I was frustrated for like 15 seconds, I was p****d. Then I was focused on supporting my team-mates," he said.
"They did a great, great job. Being on the bench, it's hard for me. I want to help my team, but we won the game. Maybe if I don't pick up that foul, we don't win the game.
"I just want to get out there and help my team. I did some unnecessary things I shouldn't do. But we got a win and that is all that matters. A lot of guys showed up and we played great defense."
Kristaps Porzingis added 23 points and Tim Hardaway Jr had 17, while there were key contributions from Trey Burke, Seth Curry and Boban Marjanovic, who all had double figures from the bench.
Game 3 at the Disney Bubble in Orlando takes place on Friday.