Andrew Wiggins finally admits exhaustion after guarding Luka Doncic

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Wiggs finally admits he's tired after defending Luka, Mavs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

For the first time in his career, Andrew Wiggins is heading to the NBA Finals.

And yes, after playing 16 playoff games in 40 days and guarding one of the league’s top scorers for the last five in Luka Dončić, he'll finally admit that he’s a bit tired.

“The first couple games, no, but this last game got me, I ain’t going to lie,” Wiggins said when asked about his level of exhaustion by NBC Sports Bay Area’s Kerith Burke after the Warriors’ 120-110 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night. “Last game, I kind of felt it.

“But the adrenaline, just the meaning of being out there and competing just got me through it.”

Wiggins was far from perfect in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals, missing all seven attempts from 3-point range, but he joined teammate Kevon Looney in posting a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds -- three of those boards coming on the offensive end.

Wiggins, who had just five NBA playoff games under his belt before Golden State's current run, was asked to be the primary defender on Dončić for much of the series. He was lauded for his efforts in Game 1 against the Mavericks in which Dončić was held to 20 points -- his lowest production in the 2021-22 postseason.

"I don't really get too tired," Wiggins said after Game 1. "I'm locked in. I'm motivated and when you see it work or I feel like it's helping us play better, it just motivates me to do it more. I'm not tired or nothing."

In 16 games this postseason, Wiggins is averaging 15.8 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 35.3 percent from deep and 48 percent from the field. He also threw down one of the most vicious dunks in Warriors history by posterizing Dončić in Game 3.

RELATED: Klay reveals first emotions after Dubs return to Finals

"Man this is the time that matters," Wiggins told Burke on Thursday night. "This is what you work for. This is what you put all your effort in for in the regular season is to prepare for this moment."

It's a moment Wiggins didn't previously have on his résumé. But it's a moment he appears more than ready for.

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