The Los Angeles Clippers earned victory over the Dallas Mavericks last night, 114-99 to extend their winning streak to six games. The matchup was highly anticipated as the Mavericks pose a serious threat with their superstar Luka Doncic. The second year rookie is almost averaging a triple double this season with 30.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and 9.8 assists. He is also second in the NBA in scoring averaging. The Clippers of course have their dynamic duo Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Leonard is currently averaging 25.7 points, eight rebounds and 5.5 assists a game. George is averaging 25 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game.
Doncic is an elite player as he has already tied Magic Johnson’s all-time record for triple-doubles at the age of 20, according to FiveThirtyEight. Before last night’s game between the Clippers and Mavericks, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was asked about a comparison for Luka Doncic. According to Clippers reporter Jovan Buha, Rivers replied, “a combination of James Harden, Larry Bird and LeBron James.”
Doncic is only 20-years-old and is barely in his sophomore year of the NBA. The second year rookie is a Slovenian professional basketball player that was drafted to the NBA by the Atlanta Hawks as the third overall pick in the 2018 draft. Doncic was then traded to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Trae Young and a 2019 first round pick. Before the NBA, Doncic played in the Euro League for Real Madrid, per Dallas News. He was named the youngest EuroLeague MVP in the league’s history after leading his team to a title. He averaged 16.9 points, 4.59 assists and and 4.8 rebounds per game.
This year the 20-year-old Mavericks’ star is playing exceptionally well. No other NBA player his age has ever averaged the amount of points or assists he is currently averaging in the leagues history. Against the Golden State Warriors, Doncic tacked on 35 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in just 25 minutes and 30 seconds. Inside Hook reported that this mark was the least playing time in NBA history that a player has needed to produce a 30-point triple-double, per the Elias Sports Bureau. Doncic is still in his rookie years and is one of NBA’s rising stars. Once he builds up more momentum and time in the league, things are bound to get scary.
Clippers vs Mavericks
Before last night’s game, both the Clips and the Mavs boasted a five-game winning streak. The Clippers put a stop to the Mavericks’ winning stretch and extended theirs to six games after handing the Mavericks an L last night, 114-99. The Clippers knew what they were going up against with Doncic, as both their superstars, George and Leonard referred to the 20 year old as “the head of the snake,” in a post game interview on Sunday night per Mirjam Swanson of the OC Register.
As reported by Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times,the Clippers were strong defensively last night as they were able to hold Doncic to 4-14 from the field. These were his fewest since Dallas’ game against the Denver Nuggets on Oct. 29.
“It doesn’t surprise anyone in this locker room the things that we can do defensively on the basketball court,” Patrick Beverley said. “Collectively, as a team, defensively, we fuckin’ dangerous.”
Though the Clippers were able to hold Luka to four from the field he still found a way to lead his team in last night’s game with 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
“He’s still a baby. There’s so much that he’s gonna grow. He’s really gonna figure it out. He’s already amazing right now, so it’s gonna be scary. It’s gonna be scary when he fully figures it out and starts to really hit his prime,” PG said per Buha.