The Mavs - Spurs matchup maybe isn't the clash it was during the Dirk and Timmy era, but it's still a great game every time it happens. Last night the Mavs won 123 - 109 while losing the 4th quarter 32-21. It didn't matter because the game was over in the 3rd behind yet another historic night by Luka Dončić.
30 point triple-doubles
Luka finished the game with 32/12/15, and a very efficient one shooting 11-23 from the field and 6-13 from behind the arc. Add to that 2 steals and only 2 turnovers, and you have yourself a game for the ages. To make it historic, with this game, Dončić passed Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan on the NBA's 30-point triple-double list tonight with his 18th.
- Oscar Robertson - 106
- Russell Westbrook - 47
- Lebron James - 34
- James Harden - 30
- Wilt Chamberlain - 21
- Luka Dončić - 18
- Larry Bird & Magic Johnson - 17
- Michael Jordan - 16
To remind you, these are numbers MJ, Bird, and Magic accumulated through their entire careers - Luka is 22 years old, playing is in his fourth season in the Association. As much as the game has changed, the rules are different, and all that jazz, this is still a spectacular achievement. Oh, did I mention he only spent 36 minutes on the floor last night? But that's not all. With this performance, Luka took one step closer to the top of another, even more exclusive list.
StatMuse and Mavs PR also pointed out that this is his 7th 30/10/15 game, joining Russell Westbrook as the only two guys in the last 40 years with such a feat - you can expand that to entire NBA history if you include Magic Johnson. But that's starting to sound like ESPN-level custom-tailored stats, in my opinion. You know, "the only guy to score 12 on Thursday between 16:44 and 17:02" kind of stuff. The 30-point triple-double is more than enough for one night.
Great news for the Mavs
Luka's historic performance was the second-best thing that happened at last night's game; he wasn't the only guy with 32 points. Kristaps Porzingis showed up big time for the first time this season, showing glimpses of what everyone hopes becomes a constant level from the Latvian. 32 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks, shooting 12-22 from the field, and 3-9 from behind the arc, playing 34 minutes.
You probably heard it a million times if you follow any Mavs outlet. This was the first fully healthy offseason Porzingis had since he came into the NBA. That's big for a guy whose descriptions always start with "Well, if he stays on the court..."
If Porzingis can remain anywhere close to this and just be a consistent 20/10 guy, with a few blocks per game, the Mavs are suddenly looking very competitive in the West. Luka is seemingly getting into game shape during the season, Porzingis is yet to find his stride, Jason Kidd is still experimenting with the system and lineups, and despite all of that, the Mavs are 4th in the West with an 8-4 record gives Dallas fans a lot of optimism.