Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic fell 10 days – or alternatively one rebound – shy of becoming the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double. Since then, he’s seemingly made it his mission to dominate every game.
Doncic picked up his third triple-double in his last seven games on Wednesday by dropping 19 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds on the Charlotte Hornets. He completed the triple-double just three minutes into the fourth quarter, and it was also his first triple-double that came during a win, as the Mavs came out on top 99-93.
The 6-foot-7 point forward continues to impress with jaw-dropping passes and acrobatic shots, and Wednesday’s game was no exception. The highlight of the game for Doncic came in the closing minutes with the Mavericks up two points. Doncic took the ball coast-to-coast and hit a ridiculous and-one reverse layup extend the lead to five.
Luka gets creative at the rim!
— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) February 7, 2019
After Nic Batum hit a layup of his own to bring it back to a one-possession game, Doncic answered with a signature step-back 3, which seemed to put the game out of reach.
Doncic leads all rookies with 20.7 points per game and is second with 7.0 rebounds and 5.4 assists. He’s been on an absolute tear the last seven games as well, averaging 24.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and eight assists per contest.
Doncic’s performance in a historical perspective
Much to his chagrin, Doncic fell short of becoming the youngest player to record a triple-double by 10 days, but he and Markelle Fultz are the only teenagers to complete that feat in NBA history. That makes Doncic the only teenager to record multiple triple-doubles as well.
Doncic was already the only youngest player to record two triple-doubles by 55 days – edging out LeBron James – and now he’s the youngest player to record three triple-doubles. He edges Hall of Famer Magic Johnson by 117 days.
With 29 games left on the Mavs’ schedule, Doncic doesn’t have a realistic shot at Oscar Robertson’s rookie record of 26 triple-doubles. Frankly he doesn’t have much of a chance at Ben Simmons’ second-place record of 12 last season, either. However, he’s currently sitting in a seven-way tie for seventh at three and could easily make it to Johnson’s third-place record of seven.
Doncic’s triple-double was overshadowed
Maybe it’s because triple-doubles have become second nature for Doncic, but Wednesday night’s game against the Hornets will likely not be remembered for Doncic’s well-rounded performance. Instead it will be remembered for what happened to his teammate, Harrison Barnes.
Midway through the second half, news broke that the Mavericks had dealt the forward to the Sacramento Kings for Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph. Barnes was literally on the court as the news went down, and he sat out the fourth quarter.
Many players, including James, were not thrilled with the hypocrisy of how players are often called selfish while teams freely deal players while they’re in the middle of a competition.
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