'Awful' Doncic blames self for Mavs' loss

MVP candidate Luka Doncic has taken responsibility for the Dallas Mavericks' last two defeats, declaring he was "awful" in a 113-105 loss to the undermanned Washington Wizards on Friday (AEDT).

Starters for the Wizards in every game they've played this year, Bradley Beal (health and safety protocols) and Kristaps Porzingis (groin strain) would have been watching on nervously as their side slipped to 22-8 early at home.

But the Wizards went on to outscore their rivals in the second and third quarters as a 36-point effort from power forward Kyle Kuzma secured the side's sixth win of the season.

Perhaps most impressively, Washington kept 23-year-old Doncic to his lowest haul of points for the season to date: 22 from eight of 21 shooting from the field.

The Slovenian star began his campaign scoring more 30 points or more in nine straight games but has since had quieter showings in two straight losses for the Mavs.

"I've been awful for two games now," he said after the loss to the Wizards.

"These two games are on me. We got to figure (it) out. These two games we were supposed to win but we didn't."

Doncic admitted his heavy workload may have begun to catch up with him.

"I'm just feeling more tired in these last two games. But that's not an excuse," he said.

After starring in the Mavs' last win, Australian Josh Green finished with only four points, a rebound and two steals from his 19 minutes on the floor.

Elsewhere, the Atlanta Hawks continued their impressive start to the season with a 104-95 defeat of hot-and-cold Philadelphia.

The Hawks became the first team to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this week and after a loss to Utah, are back in the winners circle.

Clint Capela pulled down 20 rebounds for the Hawks - the sixth-highest total by any player this season - while Trae Young top-scored with 26 points.

Australian Matisse Thybulle again struggled to imprint himself on the contest with no points, rebounds or assists in his eight minutes.

Bendigo-born rookie Dyson Daniels did not make it onto the floor in the New Orelans Pelicans' 106-95 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.