Tim MacMahonESPN Staff WriterClose
- Joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009
- Covers the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks
- Appears regularly on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM
DALLAS — Opposing defenses go to such great extremes in the attempt to make Luka Doncic uncomfortable that Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle has made a point to publicly and profanely complain about their physical tactics.
Maybe teams should try putting microphones in Doncic’s face and asking him about his historic production. He’s clearly uncomfortable when that occurs.
In this instance, Doncic was asked for his thoughts about recording more 30-point triple-doubles this season than the rest of the NBA combined. Doncic has hit that statistical milestone nine times this season, compared to a combined eight by every other player in the league, with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James (three) the only other player with multiple 30-point triple-doubles this season.
Doncic has squirmed several times when asked about his statistical accomplishments this season. For example, he insisted that nobody compared to Michael Jordan when his run of 20-point, five-rebound, five-assist outings surpassed Jordan’s for the longest such streak by anyone other than Oscar Robertson. Doncic’s streak reached 20 games before ending when he sprained his ankle.
“I don’t mind, but [it’s] just stats. I think every game is another stat,” Doncic said, referring to frequent notes on the rare historical company he joins statistically. “For me, all I would say is it’s more important to get a win.”
The 23-13 Mavs are 7-4 when Doncic has a triple-double this season. He broke the franchise record set by Jason Kidd in 1995-96 with his 10th triple-double of the season, with 39 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in Saturday’s overtime loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
This marks the second time this season that Doncic has had 35-plus-point triple-doubles in consecutive games. He has scored at least 35 points in a triple-double six times this season. Houston’s James Harden and the Lakers’ James are the only other players to have such games this season, with one apiece.
“The rare thing about Luka is he’s doing this at 20,” said Mavs shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored 15 points in 22 minutes after missing the previous three games with a strained left hamstring. “I haven’t really seen any 20-year-old be this effective on both ends of the floor.”
Doncic indeed has no historical peer when it comes to producing triple-doubles at such a young age. He has 19 in his career. Next on the list for most triple-doubles before turning 21: Magic Johnson with seven and James with five.