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James Harden calls Luka Doncic a ‘special one,’ Mavs star responds

Mavs, Luka Doncic, James Harden, Nets

Brooklyn Nets superstar James Harden had a greater appreciation for Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic following their respective teams’ showdown at Barclays Center on Saturday. The Beard, after all, bore witness as Doncic masterfully led the road team to a 115-98 victory, effectively snapping Brooklyn’s red-hot eight-game winning streak in the process.

After the match, the one-time league MVP gave the young Mavs star quite the compliment, calling him a “special one.” This reached Doncic, who was grateful for Harden’s kind words after an intense matchup.

“It’s amazing. It’s something you even can’t describe. If somebody like that says something about you, it’s just amazing. I appreciate it. I watch him. He’s an amazing, unbelievable player,” the Slovenian star said of Harden, per Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News. 

Luka Doncic proved why he is deserving of his most recent All-Star starter nod, recording 27 points on 11-for-21 shooting from the field and 3-of-10 from past the arc, along with six rebounds, seven dimes and two steals in 34 minutes. He received great help from returning Mavs teammate Kristaps Porzingis, who pitched in 18 points after a three-game absence.

James Harden finished with similar numbers to Doncic, dropping 29 points, seven rebounds and six assists on 9-for-21 shooting from the floor and four made triples.

Clearly, there are a lot of similarities between Harden and Doncic’s respective games. Both players are considered burly guards who can put up high-scoring numbers all the while setting up the table for their teammates. Let’s not forget both used the step-back 3-pointer heavily in their repertoire.

The Nets superstar likely sees a great deal of himself in the Mavs superstar, hence the compliment.