Just 12 games into his third season in the league, Luka Doncic has surpassed Michael Jordan in the record books.
Doncic, during the Dallas Mavericks’ 117-101 loss to the Chicago Bulls at the American Airlines Center, recorded his 29th career triple-double.
Jordan finished his career with just 28.
“The stats are spectacular. … It’s phenomenal,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said, via Fox Sports Southwest. “But without a win, he won’t be happy with it either.”
Doncic officially hit the mark midway through the third quarter after weaving through several defenders and then dishing a perfect behind-the-back pass to Willie Cauley-Stein.
Doncic wasted very little time on Sunday afternoon, putting up 30 points in the first half. He added only six more points in the second half, however, and finished with 16 rebounds and 15 assists while shooting 6-of-11 from the 3-point line.
“The second half, I played terrible … I was being selfish a bit I think, because I had 30 points in the first half. That wasn’t me in the second half,” Doncic said. “I’ve got to do way better than that. That’s just on me. I shouldn’t be doing this.”
"The second half... I played terrible. I played selfish."
Luka Doncic takes blame for the @dallasmavs loss, despite finishing with 36 points, 16 rebounds and 15 assists. #MFFL pic.twitter.com/ioKtDbueSL
— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) January 17, 2021
Selfish is a, well, unique way to describe a game in which he had 15 assists. Still, though, that’s what Doncic stood by.
“I was just taking some shots I shouldn’t be taking. Just have to do way better than this,” he said. “As a team, we have to step up, especially defensively and bring the energy.”
Doncic is now tied with Grant Hill at No. 15 on the all-time triple-double list. They are well behind Oscar Robertson, who leads the way with 181 career triple-doubles. Russell Westbrook is second on the list with 150, and LeBron James is fifth with 95. They are the only two active players in the league in the top five.
Short-handed Mavs fall to Chicago
Doncic’s stellar day, as impressive and historic as it was, couldn’t get the shorthanded Mavericks past the Bulls.
Chicago never looked back after taking a lead at the end of the first quarter, and held a 15-point lead at the break despite Doncic’s 30-point half — which was just the sixth in Mavericks history and the second-most he has ever scored in a single half. They led by double digits throughout most of the final two quarters, too, en route to the 16-point win — which snapped a four-game losing skid.
Dallas, which was dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak last week, was short five players on Sunday. Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell and Josh Richardson were all out due to the NBA’s health and safety protocol — a designation used when players either test positive for the coronavirus or were exposed to someone who was.
Lauri Markkanen led Chicago with 29 points and 10 rebounds, while Garrett Temple added 21 points off the bench.
Kristaps Porzingis finished with 20 points and eight rebounds for the Mavericks, and Cauley-Stein dropped 10 points with five rebounds. Dallas, after a four-game winning streak, has now lost two straight.
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