It was a singular performance from Luka Doncic, who ended the night with 60 points, 21 rebounds, and 10 assists. A crown jewel of a triple-double. Combine that with 25 points and big shots at big times from Spencer Dinwiddie and 19 points to go with his three blocks from Christian Wood, and it was just enough to overcome a big 33-point night from Quentin Grimes.
It was a game that was the dictionary definition of unlikely. Initially down by 10 coming into the fourth, and still down by nine with under 34 seconds to go, Doncic somehow found himself at the line with 4.3 seconds on the clock and down only three. He needed to nail the first and then hope a purposefully-missed second found its way into the hands of the Mavericks for a last-second hail Mary. And that’s exactly how that went down. Simply another chapter in the fairytale endings authored by Luka Doncic.
This game was looking like an embodiment of the dreaded “flow chart” game, aka, Luka Doncic has a huge night, but his teammates aren’t hitting shots.
After three quarters, every Dallas Maverick starter was a negative in plus/minus, ranging from -4 for Dwight Powell, all the way to -10 for Tim Hardaway Jr and Luka. By the time the final horn sounded at the end of overtime, those five players all ended the night in the positive. It was a huge group effort and a stunning turnaround for a group of guys who looked dead in the water.
Mavericks fans have been tearing their hair out at times this season with some of the free throw woes the team has had. A couple of losses have come directly from missed freebies deep in the fourth. This game was pretty much the exact opposite.
As Dallas fought furiously to mount this historic comeback, Luka Doncic made the most important free throw of the night with 4.2 seconds to go to cut the Knick’s lead to 2 and set up his game-tying put-back.
In overtime, with both teams gassed, it was Dallas who was able to steady themselves at the line. With field goals hard to come by, Dallas went 9-of-10 from the line in OT while New York struggled, going just 2-of-6 and letting the Mavs steal an absolute classic. Free throws aren’t the most exciting part of the game, but seeing as how they’ve dropped some potential wins because of trouble from the stripe, this was good to see.
What’s not as great to see was the rebounding effort tonight. Dallas put themselves in a big hole by getting dominated on the boards.
The “too small” taunt has become popular after big one-on-one buckets this season, but if ever someone was to pull it off after a rebound, the Knicks could have given it a shot tonight.
Dallas’ frontcourt has been a work in progress all season, and missing Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith has not helped matters much. New York ate Dallas alive on the boards, both offensively and defensively. New York has been the best rebounding team in the league over the past 10 games.
The Knicks’ bigs Mitchell Robinson and Julius Randle combined for 34 rebounds, 16 and 18 respectively. The imbalance on the boards fueled a huge disparity in second-chance points. 27-to-11 in favor of NYK. But basketball isn’t fair, and it was Dallas who got the rebound that mattered when Doncic grabbed his missed free throw and sent it to over time. All’s well that ends well, but Dallas’ rebounding is still clearly a work in progress.
What else is there to say? Much will be said about this game, but Luka Doncic put together a historic performance. He finished with the first 60 point, 20 rebound, 10 assist game in NBA history. He’s a player for whom superlatives don’t do justice.
It’s a career-high and franchise high from Doncic.
You can listen to our latest podcast episode in the player embedded below, and to make sure you don’t miss a single one moving forward, subscribe to the Mavs Moneyball podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Pocketcasts, or Castbox.
You can check our our After Dark Recap podcasts, Spotify Live recordings, Moneyball Minute shows, and guest shows on the Mavs Moneyball Podcast feed. Please subscribe, rate, and review.