Breaking news: Luka Doncic made another unbelievable pass, this time against the Los Angeles Lakers in a very fun win in Dallas on Tuesday night.
Well, that’s not really breaking news. Doncic has been making jaw-dropping passes since he was a teenager, even before he was in the NBA. Whenever he does make one though, I try to make an occasion out of it, because sometimes these passes are so good they deserve their own spotlight.
That brings us to this stirring win against the Lakers, with the Mavericks missing a handful of key rotation players, including Kyrie Irving, while also playing on the second night of a back-to-back. It was easily the most impressive win of the season, and Doncic’s breathtaking pass in the fourth quarter was actually a key moment.
Dallas led by double digits for most of the first half and entering the third quarter, but it dwindled. The shooting got cold, the defense continued to be a sieve at the rim, and the Mavericks found themselves trailing to start the fourth. It was clear the Mavericks would need some Luka magic to pull this game out, and he delivered with about nine minutes left in the fourth quarter.
With the team trailing 100-99, Doncic drove toward the paint, only to be met by Lakers backup center Jaxon Hayes. Doncic picked up his dribble and attempted a pass fake to get Hayes to bite. From there, Lakers forward Rui Hachimura decided to leave Dante Exum open, which was apparently drilled into the Lakers from their pregame scouting, as Exum was left wide open a lot on Tuesday night. As Hachimura committed, Doncic then flung a pass, wrapping his left hand around Hayes and threading it right past Hachimura’s arms.
That left Exum wide open at the top of the arc, as Doncic’s pass seemingly teleported right into Exum’s shooting pocket. A few second later the Mavericks retook the lead, 102-101.
The live broadcast angle almost doesn’t do the pass justice. Seeing the play from the baseline camera, it’s even more ridiculous as Doncic basically does a no-look, wraparound pass through two defenders.
What’s great about seeing it from this angle is that Hachimura was totally unprepared for Doncic having the balls to make this pass.
Hachimura is very late to getting his hands up because he’s probably thinking the same thing every other normal person would think: Ah hell, he won’t try that. I’m fine!
He was not fine! At this point the best thing to expect from Doncic is the unexpected. Hachimura has likely learned his lesson, and Doncic gets to add another absurd highlight pass to his growing collection.