What started out as the usual blah performance by the Dallas Mavericks against a team missing two of their best players turned into one of the most spectacular regular season games in recent memory as they defeated the New York Knicks in overtime, 126-121. The reason? Luka Doncic.
A simple look at the box score shows that Doncic put up 60 points, 21 rebounds, and 10 assists. But as eye-popping as those numbers are on paper, the way Doncic played tonight is almost indescribable.
The New York Knicks looked ready to beat the Mavericks, but Doncic wasn’t having it. He went on a tear in the fourth quarter and overtime, willing Dallas to victory despite the odds. And those odds were steep. The Knicks led by nine points with 35 seconds remaining. Historically, that means they were a lock to win. An absolute certain win. How certain? Per ESPN Stats and Info, teams that trailed by nine points with 35 seconds or less left in the game were 0-13,884 all-time.
NBA teams were 0-13,884 in the last 20 seasons when trailing by at least nine with 35 or fewer seconds remaining, per @ESPNStatsInfo.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 28, 2022
Luka Doncic and the Mavs pulled off a miracle.
Those odds were no match for Luka Magic. Doncic pulled off a miracle, as Tim MacMahon stated above. Unsurprisingly, Doncic’s numbers were something the NBA has never seen:
25: The number of points Doncic scored in the fourth quarter and overtime
Doncic went 8-of-11 in the fourth quarter, scoring 18 points. He scored seven points in overtime, despite only making one basket. Doncic went to the free throw line six times, hitting five of them, putting the game away.
60: Doncic’s new career-high in points, and a Mavericks’ record
Doncic set a new career-high in points in the fourth quarter, surpassing his previous high of 51. And then he just kept piling them on in overtime, breaking the Knicks’ will with every free throw. It’s also the new Mavericks’ record for scoring in one game.
21: Doncic’s new career-high in rebounds
Scoring 60 points would’ve been enough to make this an all-time Doncic game. But he also put in work on the boards, vacuuming up almost every missed shot that came his way. The most important one came on the game-tying shot, giving him 18. He picked up three more in overtime.
December 28, 2022
3: The number of 50-point games for Doncic
There have been seven 50-point performances in Mavericks history. Doncic has three of them. That’s the most in franchise history. He’s only 23.
50-point regular-season games in Mavs history:— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) December 28, 2022
54: Doncic tonight (OT)
53: Nowitzki 12-2-04 vs. Houston (OT)
51: Doncic 2-10-22 vs. Clippers
51: Nowitzki 3-23-06 vs. GS
50: Doncic 12-23-22 at Houston
50: Jackson 11-26-94 at Denver (OT)
50: Mashburn 11-12-94 at Chicago (OT)
2: The number of 60-point triple-doubles in NBA history
Doncic has one. James Harden has the other. This is how special Doncic’s performance was tonight.
1: The number of times someone has put up a 60-21-10 stat line
Doncic is the only player in the history of the NBA to put up such a gaudy stat line. Not even Wilt Chamberlain, king of basketball stats, did this. Early in LeBron James’ career, there was a marketing campaign called We Are All Witnesses. It might need to be revived for Doncic. We are witnessing something incredible right now in Dallas, something we’ll be talking about for years to come.
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