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Luka Doncic explodes for 48 points in Olympic debut as Slovenia trounces Argentina

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We're used to Luka Doncic posting ridiculous stat lines for the Dallas Mavericks

But this isn't usually how things work at the Olympics. 

The Slovenian superstar made his Olympics debut on Monday playing for his home country against Argentina. He scored 17 points in the first quarter. By halftime he had 31. When the final buzzer sounded, he'd tallied 48 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in a 118-100 blowout.

Is Slovenia a medal contender in Tokyo?

Slovenia's Luka Doncic (77) celebrates after three point basket during men's basketball preliminary round game against Argentina at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Luka Doncic and Slovenia look like must-watch basketball in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The performance announced his arrival on the Olympic stage and Slovenia's presence as an unexpected force in Tokyo. Before Doncic's arrival, Slovenia had never qualified for the Olympics. With Doncic running the offense, the Slovenians looked like anything but a pushover in their inaugural run at the Olympic Games.

Doncic's halftime tally prompted some peeks at the Olympic record book, which showed Brazil's Oscar Schmidt as the record-holder for most points in a game with 55 in 1988. 

He didn't get there. But he didn't need to, as his teammates carried the scoring load after halftime and he sat down the stretch with the outcome in hand. He'll have to settle for a tie for the second-highest individual point tally in Olympic history. 

This generally doesn't happen at the Olympics

His 48 points are far from the norm in Olympic games, which rarely see this kind of individual scoring output. For reference, only four U.S. players averaged double figures during 2016's run to the gold medal, as Kevin Durant led the way with 19.4 points per game. Olympic games are played over four 10-minute quarters, eight minutes shorter than NBA games.

But Doncic isn't surrounded by NBA talent. His teammates are going to count on a big output from Doncic every time out. Slovenia basketball may be worth staying up late to watch during these Olympics. Or at least setting your DVR.

Slovenia next plays host Japan on Thursday at 12:40 a.m. ET on Peacock or streaming through NBC.

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