Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic’s incredible triple-double performance against the Denver Nuggets may have come in a losing effort but simultaneously it has him rubbing elbows with a Boston Celtics icon, on this particular NBA all-time list.
Doncic led Dallas with a whopping 35-point, 16-assist, and 11-rebound triple-double – his 31st of his career. Incredible, considering it’s only his third season. However, it came in a 117-113 loss Monday night.
Michael Porter Jr.’s 30 points led five Nuggets players in double figures. Nikola Jokic (20 points) finished with a double-double (10 rebounds), JaMychal Green (17 points, 8 rebounds) flirted with one of his own, Jamal Murray finished with 16 points and Gary Harris added 10.
Luka, 21, is now tied with Boston Celtics icon and all-time leading scorer John Havlicek for 13 on the NBA’s all-time triple-double list, according to Basketballreference.com. Topped by Hall of Fame point guard Oscar Robertson (181), who holds the record for most career triple-doubles, Doncic is one of six active NBA players in the top-13.
Luka Doncic Ties Celtics Icon John Havlicek On NBA All-Time Triple-Doubles List
Others include Washington Wizards point guard Russell Westbrook (150), who’s currently breathing down Robertson’s neck for the top spot, LeBron James, who rounds out the top-5, Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (48), and Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (46), who both, respectively, sit in the cellar of the top-10 and Atlanta Hawks point guard Rajon Rondo (32) is now in Luka’s sight at no. 12.
Just last week, two triple-doubles ago, Doncic made headlines for passing Michael Jordan on the list. He finished with 28 career triple-doubles, which is good for no. 17 but as years fly by it’s difficult to envision a world where Doncic doesn’t become the association’s all-time leader in triple-doubles. This is a rate the league has never seen before.
Through two seasons and a month’s worth of basketball, Luka notched over 30 triple-doubles. This season, he’s nearly averaging a triple-double on a nightly basis.
Doncic is averaging 27.3 points, 9.9 assists (second in the NBA), and 9.8 rebounds a night.
Rick Carlisle On Luka Doncic Being An Early MVP Candidate: ‘He’s One Of A Handful Of Guys That Are In The Conversation’
Following team practice on Tuesday, Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle was asked about Doncic’s impressive start to the regular season, and does Carlisle believe we could be witnessing the beginning of an MVP year?
“He’s a great young player, he’s one of a handful of guys that are in the conversation,” Carlisle said. “I love the way he’s playing. We need him to continue doing what he’s doing. Right now, after last night, we didn’t have a good defensive game last night. So, everybody’s got to pick it up from a defensive standpoint. We just got to play better. We got to be more tied together defensively. We’re playing all good teams, right now. Denver’s won nine out of 12, and Utah’s won eight in a row, and Phoenix is having a great year – they’re this weekend. So, our defense’s got to be there for us and we struggled last night.
“Look, Luka’s have a good year; he’s in the conversation, he’ll remain in the conversation.”