Luka Doncic enters rare territory with first career 30-point game

·Writer

Luka Doncic entered the Dallas Mavericks’ game against the San Antonio Spurs with a sore back and coming off a rough 5-for-13 shooting performance in his previous game. He didn’t leave with a win, but he did manage to post the best game of his young NBA career.

Scoring from just about everywhere, Doncic finished with a career-high 31 points on 11-of-18 shooting, including 4-of-6 from deep, with eight rebounds and four assists in a 113-108 overtime loss to the Spurs.

Doncic also showed off some of the freakish basketball IQ that turned him into arguably the most hyped European basketball prospect in history.

This is the second 30-point game from any rookie this season, coming a week after Trae Young’s 35-point outburst that prompted some statistical comparisons to Steph Curry.

There weren’t any Curry comparisons to be found for Doncic’s performance on Monday, but his eight redounds did lead to a stat that compares him favorably to a pair of players you may have heard of.

The Mavericks paid a heavy price for Doncic during the 2018 draft, effectively trading Young and a top-five protected first-rounder to the Atlanta Hawks for the rights to Doncic. The Slovenian star’s play has so far justified that risk, but there’s still plenty of developing to go before we know the Mavs’ decision has paid off.

For now, we can just sit back and watch Doncic compete in a league that is seeing plenty of other intriguing rookies. Young has already popped off for his own 30-point game, first overall pick Deandre Ayton is averaging a double-double and second overall pick Marvin Bagley Jr. isn’t far behind. This could be shaping up to be another special rookie class.

The Mavericks’ big gamble on Luka Doncic might just be paying off. (AP Photo)
The Mavericks’ big gamble on Luka Doncic might just be paying off. (AP Photo)

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