Luka Doncic’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday night was one for the record books. The 21-year-old Slovenian phenom put together one of the signature performances of his young career. He totaled 36 points, 14 rebounds, and 19 assists—a career-high. It was also his seventeenth triple-double of the season, which leads the NBA. While his overall performance is superb, one play stands out.
As the overtime frame wound down with the game on the line, Doncic did something incredible. With about a minute left in the game, he ran a pick-and-roll with Maxi Kleber. Once past Kleber’s screen, Doncic turned the corner. At the same time, Kleber began a run to the rim. In an instant, Doncic found Kleber with a pass between his legs as the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Giannis Antetokounmpo, bore down on him. Kleber finished with a thunderous dunk, drawing an and-one opportunity, which he converted.
The play quickly went viral on social media. Seemingly every angle capturing it has now been viewed thousands of times. It wasn’t just fans who were fawning over the play, the Dallas Mavericks found themselves in awe of it too. It will surely go down as one of the most audacious feats in Doncic’s young career.
Here’s how the Mavericks reacted to the pass in their own words:
“I don’t know what I did. I just did it. I didn’t think about it before, just in the moment.”
“With Luka, you’ve always got to expect to get a pass. He’s a really great passer; great vision. And that was the best angle for him, so you’ve got to be ready for those passes between the legs. He played those passes with Dwight [Powell] a lot, so you’ve always got to be ready.”
“Unbelievable. Not only the way the pass was but also the moment in the game. To make that pass, to have the, what is a good word, the courage to do it, that’s just who he is. He can make those incredible plays, also down the stretch, and we want him to keep making those kinds of plays for us.”
“I clapped. I applauded. I thought it was phenomenal. The sign of a great player—a truly great player—is the ability to pull off something like that against a team like Milwaukee that gives up virtually zero in the paint, and that leads to an and-one. That was a huge play in the game too. We’re seeing more things all the time. Luka is not only a great basketball player, he’s a great performer. I’d pay money to watch him play. I don’t say that about a lot of players, but he’s really special.”