Several talented young athletes have come into the NBA over the years. Some managed to live up to the hype that surrounded their names, while others have faded into irrelevance. For Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic, the storyline is still being written.
At just 22 years of age, Doncic is well on his way to etching his name alongside the best players the NBA has ever known. In fact, he continues to set impressive milestones.
The standout from Slovenia, however, has also gotten himself in heated moments recently. On Monday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, he got ejected early after hitting Collin Sexton. He’s also just one technical foul away from earning an automatic one-game suspension.
Still, his hot-headedness notwithstanding, Doncic is still one of the faces of the NBA. Let’s take a look at a few of the eye-opening records that he has achieved.
Luka Doncic Records
Fastest player in Mavericks history to reach 5,000 points
This is the latest feat accomplished by Doncic, surpassing Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki. Doncic needed just 194 games to reach the mark. It’s nothing short of impressive given he’s just in his third year in the NBA. For comparison, Nowitzki did it in four seasons.
Doncic is not the most athletically gifted player. He’s not as fast as quick guards and doesn’t leap out of the gym like Russell Westbrook or Damian Lillard. But his guile and basketball IQ have propelled him to become one of the better offensive floor generals.
Most consecutive games with 20 points, five assists, and five rebounds, topping Michael Jordan
As part of a 110-106 loss to the Sacramento Kings in December 2019, Doncic racked up 28 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists. In doing so, he passed the one and only Michael Jordan for the longest streak of 20/5/5 games since the 1976 merger. Just think about that for a second, Doncic was only 20 years old at that time.
For the record: Oscar Robertson had 29 such games, but this is still a remarkable achievement for Doncic.
First player in NBA history to post 30+ points, 12+ rebounds, and 15+ assists in a game with 30 or fewer minutes played
It was December 2019 again, and the Mavericks were facing the Golden State Warriors. Luka Doncic finished with 31 points, 12 rebounds, and 15 assists in less than 30 minutes of playing time. In that same game, he tied Jason Kidd’s mark for most triple-doubles in a season in franchise history.
Luka Dončić is the first player in @NBA history to log 30+ points, 12+ rebounds and 15+ assists in a game with 30-or-fewer minutes played.
Dončić is also the first player in history to record multiple 30-point triple-doubles of any kind in his career with 30min or fewer played. pic.twitter.com/FxJKSoZNKa
— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) December 29, 2019
Luka Dončić now has 9 performances with a triple-double this season, which ties Jason Kidd for the Dallas Mavericks' franchise record for most triple-doubles in a single-season.
Photo: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports pic.twitter.com/Jsps9rLvAR
— Grant Afseth (@GrantAfseth) December 29, 2019
Broke Jason Kidd’s Mavericks record for triple-doubles just five days after his 21st birthday
As part of a 127-123 overtime victory against the New Orleans Pelicans in March of 2020, Luka Doncic notched 30 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists. It was his 22nd career triple-double, which broke Kidd’s previous record.
For some perspective: Kidd had 21 triple-doubles in 500 games with the Mavericks, while Doncic had 22 in 120 games.
Youngest player in NBA history with a 30-point, 20-rebound triple-double
Doncic managed to break this record inside the NBA Bubble in Florida. As part of an overtime victory against the Sacramento Kings, the former no. 3 overall pick tallied 34 points, 20 rebounds, and 12 assists in 43 minutes. With this line, he became the youngest player in league history with a 30-point, 20-rebound triple-double at 21 years and 158 days old.
There are a few other greats that have hit this mark in the past. You might recognize their names: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, DeMarcus Cousins, Billy Cunningham, Nikola Jokic, David Lee, George McGinnis, and Oscar Robertson.
Luka Doncic finished with 34 Points, 20 Rebounds and 12 Assists. He became the first Mavs player to have a 30-Pt/20-Reb/10-Ast Triple-Double.
He also became the youngest player with a 30-point, 20-rebound triple-double in NBA history (21 years, 158 days old). pic.twitter.com/2ArI1BabZB
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 4, 2020
An excellent scorer, Luka Doncic is on pace to average more points per game than Nowitzki. The former MVP’s best offensive production came during the 2005-06 campaign when he averaged 26.6 points per game. Doncic is currently averaging 28.2 points, which would rank third in Mavericks history to Mark Aquirre (29.5 per game in 1984).
Facilitating might be Doncic’s greatest asset though. He’s averaging 8.7 assists per game this season. If he can maintain that pace, he’ll stand alongside Hall of Fame guards like Kidd and Steve Nash for the best assist average in a single Mavericks season. Kidd holds the record with 9.7 dishes per game during the 1995-96 campaign.
Oh, and let’s not forget about PER (player efficiency rating). Doncic is sitting at 25.6 for this season. Dirk holds the record for the Mavericks at 28.1 in the 2005-2006 campaign.
As the saying goes, records are meant to be broken, and Luka Doncic is breaking them at a steady clip.
Right now, Doncic and the Mavericks are aiming to make a serious postseason push. They are holding to the fifth seed in the tight Western Conference and are hoping to avoid a possible disaster in the play-in tournament, especially with the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers possibly ending there as well. Mathematically, the Mavericks can still get the 4th seed and earn homecourt advantage.
Let’s see what sort of record Luka Doncic breaks next.