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Sport How Mavericks' Luka Doncic has proven even Dirk Nowitzki wrong and blossomed into a superstar

13:45  02 december  2019
13:45  02 december  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

Mavericks guard Luka Doncic inches into LeBron James stratosphere with 42-point triple-double

  Mavericks guard Luka Doncic inches into LeBron James stratosphere with 42-point triple-double Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, who is only 20 years old, is off to a blistering start, registering his sixth triple-double in 13 games this season.His 42 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds make for an eye-popping stat line alone, and then factor in the flair of Doncic's passing and clutch gene he continues to show.

How Mavericks ' Luka Doncic has proven even Dirk Nowitzki wrong and blossomed into a superstar . Mark Medina. LOS ANGELES — The setting left Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic feeling anxious. And why wouldn’t it? For the first time in his NBA career, he would face LeBron James.

LUKAMANIA: Luka proves even Dirk wrong and blossoms into superstar . Mavericks star Luka Doncic downplayed Nowitzki ’s actual affect on the outcome. That has happened only occasionally. Otherwise, Nowitzki has spent the past 2½ months mostly traveling to his native Germany and other

LOS ANGELES — The setting left Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic feeling anxious. And why wouldn’t it? For the first time in his NBA career, he would face LeBron James.

Antonis Fotsis holding a basketball: Luka Doncic is averaging 30.6 points, 9.9 rebounds and 9.6 assists in 19 games. © Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports Luka Doncic is averaging 30.6 points, 9.9 rebounds and 9.6 assists in 19 games.

Nearly a year later, Doncic has framed the Los Angeles Lakers jersey that James signed for him following their first matchup. Even if Doncic still maintains those giddy feelings toward James, he no longer appears intimidated matching up against NBA superstars. One of the reasons? Doncic has become one of them.

In the Mavericks' 114-100 win over the Lakers on Sunday at Staples Center, Doncic established himself against James with 27 points while shooting 10-of-23 from the field and 4-of-10 from 3-point range along with 10 assists and nine rebounds. Doncic did it despite frequently drawing double-teams as well as one-on-one assignments against James and Anthony Davis. Although Davis (27 points) and James (25) also dominated, Doncic became more effective with maximizing the Mavericks’ depth.

Doncic has 33 first-half points, Mavs hammer Warriors 142-94

  Doncic has 33 first-half points, Mavs hammer Warriors 142-94 DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 33 of his 35 points in the first half and had yet another triple-double to help the Dallas Mavericks rout the short-handed Golden State Warriors 142-94 on Wednesday night. Doncic fell a point short of matching Dirk Nowitzki’s team record set Nov. 3, 2009, against Utah. In just 17 minutes, Doncic was 10 for 11 from the floor, making 6 of 7 3-pointers, and hit 7 of 8 free throws. The second-year star from Slovenia had 22 points, five assists and five rebounds in the first quarter alone. He played only 25 minutes total, but still managed 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

The reaction to Luka Doncic , a star rookie for the Dallas Mavericks , has been so intense that his teammate Dirk Nowitzki has called it 31, as the Mavericks pulled into a hotel adjacent to the world headquarters of General Motors, on the unglamorous end of a back-to-back set that began in New York.

Luka Dončić (Slovene: [ˈlùːka ˈdòːntʃitʃ]; born February 28, 1999) is a Slovenian professional basketball player for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA)

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"Normally, I’m never nervous before the game. That game, I was nervous for sure," Doncic about last year's matchup with James. "I admire him today, too. He was my idol growing up. It’s not different."

The 20-year-old Doncic studied James when he first played with Real Madrid, the Slovenian national team and in the Euroleague. During those stints, Doncic offered a blend of versatile scoring and play-making just like James has. That explains why the Mavericks selected Doncic with the No. 3 pick in last year’s draft. That explains why Dallas coach Rick Carlisle became convinced Doncic would be special after seeing him thrive during his first pick-up game before training camp. It explains why Doncic collected eight triple-doubles en route to last year’s Rookie of the Year award.

With Nowitzki watching, Doncic, Mavericks rout Cavs by 42

  With Nowitzki watching, Doncic, Mavericks rout Cavs by 42 The Dallas Mavericks routed the Cleveland Cavaliers 143-101 on Friday night. Nowitzki stayed away for the first eight Dallas home games after setting an NBA record of 21 seasons with the same franchise while finishing last season as the highest-scoring foreign-born player in league history.BOX SCORE: MAVERICKS 143, CAVALIERS 101RELATED: Lessons Doncic has taught NBAThe big German got a standing ovation when shown on the video board in the first quarter from his courtside seat next to owner Mark Cuban.

Mavericks guard Luka Doncic ties his career-high in points during a “ Luka ‘triple-double’ Doncic – I called him ‘Triple Doncic .’ He hasn’t even started playing “I love the fact Mark Cuban was getting razzed about the comments he made that Americans need to go overseas and learn how to play

The Dallas Mavericks had a big offseason, as they traded Trae Young for Luka Doncic , signed DeAndre Jordan, and will be having Dirk Nowitzki come back for another season. = How many wins will they have ? We'll go over all of this in this video!

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Still, Doncic entered this season with something to prove. Could Doncic provide a worthy encore to his compelling original?

"I got to be honest, I thought he would have a tougher transition here in year two," said recently retired Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki, who received a video tribute at Staples Center on Sunday. "Just because he was so phenomenal last year with all the triple-doubles, I thought people were really going to hone in on him. But he seemed to have gotten even better."

The numbers back up that claim.

Doncic already has seven triple-doubles. He has logged three 40-point games and 10 30-point games. He joined Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook as the only players in NBA history to average a 30-point triple-double during a calendar month. He has improved in almost every statistical category from his rookie season, including points (21.2 to 30.8), shooting percentage (42.7% to 48.3%), free-throw shooting (71.3% to 82.7%), rebounds (7.8 to 9.9) and assists (6.0 to 9.6).

In the Lakers’ win over Dallas last month, Doncic had 39 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds. Afterwards, James embraced Doncic and called him a "bad (expletive)." Following the Mavericks' win on Sunday? James did not say anything whatsoever to Doncic. Perhaps that is because, as Nowitzki put it, "Luka is playing out of this world."

"I guess I was wrong," Nowitzki said, chuckling. "Even the experts can be wrong. He’s looking fantastic."

Doncic looked that way despite having a first half that he called "awful." He shot 2-of-9 from the field. James stole the ball from him on one possession and drew a charge on another. On another play, Davis stuffed Doncic at the rim.

Luka Doncic Just Tied Michael Jordan With Remarkable Streak

  Luka Doncic Just Tied Michael Jordan With Remarkable Streak It's getting harder and harder to deny the greatness of Luka Doncic at this point. After putting up some insane numbers the first few games into the season, many people attributed Doncic's play to a hot start against lesser competition. But we're now over a quarter of the way into the season, and he's still playing like a superstar. After putting up some insane numbers the first few games into the season, many people attributed Doncic's play to a hot start against lesser competition.

Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic was sensational in his preseason debut for the team on Sept. 29. He did not just star on offense either. Doncic had three blocks including one that was highlight reel material.

Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic is putting together a rookie campaign thus far that rivals some of the best rookie seasons ever. If Dallas can start translating his successes into more wins, Luka might have himself a case to make the All- Star game.

Doncic soon began performing highlight reels. He fueled the Mavericks’ 35-17 third-quarter run by logging 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting and five assists. He attacked the rim when he had a one-on-one matchups. When the Lakers packed the paint, Doncic punished them with his outside shot. When he drew multiple defenders, Doncic found an open teammate.

"He made really good play calls and took advantage of what was happening out there with matchups," Carlisle said. "He hit a couple of hellacious shots that only a small handful of guys in the whole world that can hit."

Carlisle then named a certain player that Doncic has idolized.

"LeBron James is one of them. (Doncic’s) one of them," Carlisle said. "Stepback 30-footers, it’s hard to describe how difficult the shot is and how easy he makes it look."

Yet, Doncic has done just that partly by playing the same way that James does.

"Basketball is like playing chess," Doncic said. "You have to read the game. If they double you, there’s going to be somebody open."

Follow USA TODAY NBA writer Mark Medina on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How Mavericks' Luka Doncic has proven even Dirk Nowitzki wrong and blossomed into a superstar

Related slideshow: The 2019-20 NBA Season (Provided by imagn)

a man holding a basketball: Washington Wizards forward  Rui Hachimura (8) drives to the basket while LA Clippers guard Terance Mann (14) defends during the fourth quarter at Staples Center on December 1, 2019.

Luka Doncic meets young Slovenian boy after raising more than $2 million for his medical treatments .
Instead of rushing out to the court on Sunday night at the Staples Center, Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic had something more important to do. © Provided by Yahoo! Sports Before leading the Mavericks past the Lakers on Sunday, Luka Doncic stopped to meet a young Slovenian boy he helped travel to Los Angeles for a rare medical treatment. (Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images) Doncic stopped just short of the floor in Los Angeles to join his mother, Mirjam Poterbin, who was standing with 22-month-old Kris Zudich and his family.

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