Many basketball evaluators were skeptical of Slovenian Luka Doncic’s game translating to the NBA, at least to the level he produced in the EuroLeague (where he won the 2018 MVP).
But the 19-year-old — yes, he’s still only 19 — has quickly shown to be the real deal, and he put that on full display in the Dallas Mavericks’ 119-115 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.
Doncic had 29 points, 12 assists, eight rebounds, and was particularly big down the stretch with seven points in the game’s final 1:30.
Luka Doncic. 👏
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) January 12, 2019
Doncic becomes the youngest NBA player to score at least 25 points and have at least 10 assists since some guy named LeBron James did that in 2004.
Luka Doncic is the youngest player with at least 25 points and 10 assists since LeBron James in 2004. pic.twitter.com/OTivsU5v8r
— ESPN (@espn) January 12, 2019
And he’s the first rookie to have three go-ahead buckets in the final two minutes of regulation since Vince Carter did so in 1999.
Luka Doncic is the first rookie with 3 go-ahead field goals in the final 2 minutes of regulation since Vince Carter against the Pacers on April 1, 1999. pic.twitter.com/BlIrMbAdHa
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 12, 2019
On the season, Doncic is averaging 20.0 points (with 37.4% 3-point shooting), 6.7 assists, and 5.0 rebounds. His efforts have gone a long, long way to improving a Mavericks team that is now 20-22 after going 24-58 last season.