Luka Doncic Makes History With Game Winner

Luka Doncic

Getty Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

Luka Doncic continues to shock the world with his ability to put games into his own hands and get the Dallas Mavericks wins. On Saturday night against the Boston Celtics, he led the team by a wide margin with 33 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

However, what was most impressive was his game-winning shot that put the Mavs up by three as the game clock expired.

This was the fourth game winning shot of the young superstar’s career. According to Elias Sports, Doncic is now the only NBA player since 1997-98 to have four game-winners with under two seconds remaining – in the regular season and postseason combined – before turning the age of 23.

He’s still got time to raise the bar on that record even further, as he doesn’t turn 23 until February of 2022.

When asked about his insane shot to beat the Boston Celtics, Doncic admitted it was a very tough attempt, but was what was looking for.

“I don’t know. It was just a difficult shot,” said Doncic postgame. “You know, it went in. Like, I just stopped for a second, I didn’t know if it went it. But I was just trying to get to my spot in the last .5 (seconds) and I got it.”

Many of the late-game heroics from Doncic come from the left wing. After the game, he talked about how he is more comfortable going left, hence why so many of these wild shots come from that same side of the floor.

What did it take for Doncic to make history? How does this inspire his teammates?

Previous Game Winners

The first game-winning shot of his career came in a huge playoff moment, during a game against the LA Clippers in the bubble. Similar to the shot he hit over Josh Richardson in the Celtics game on Saturday, he hit a step back 3 from the left wing over Reggie Jackson.

This was a huge moment for Doncic, giving him the confidence to start taking more of these clutch shots down the stretch.

From there, he would knock down a buzzer beater against Boston in February of the 2020-21 season.

Doncic is now the only Mavericks player to hit game-winning baskets twice against the same opponent over the last 20 seasons with his second against the Celtics.

His third game winning shot came just a couple of months after the Celtics game last season, where he hit a circus shot from that same left wing. This time it wasn’t a step back, but rather a step-through shot.

Many players never hit a game-winning shot at the NBA level, but Doncic already has four early in his career.

Inspiring the Team

Doncic inspires his teammates and coaches every single night with his leadership and spectacular play on the court. After big wins like Saturday night, he makes even more of an impact.

This was the first game-winning shot that new Mavs coach Jason Kidd was able to witness in person. After the game, he spoke about the shot Doncic made to get the victory.

“I’ve seen it on TV. That’s Luka,” said Kidd. “Understanding the situation, I thought the team, we talked about halftime, we knew they were going to make a run. But we kept our composure down the stretch and got the ball to Luka. Luka did what he’s done in the past by getting his shot off. It looked good when it left. But he’s done it so many times and it’s just a beautiful thing to watch in person.”

In fact, Kidd would even go on to compare Doncic to Dirk Nowitzki, who was the last great player to come through Dallas. Kidd was teammates with Nowitzki when he played for the Mavericks.

“I’ve played with a player like that before here. Everybody knows the ball is going to 41 (Dirk Nowitzki) and he delivers. I think everyone knew the ball was going to 77 (Luka Dončić) and he delivered. I understand he loves that moment and his teammates know that. I would say that the other team knows the ball was going to Luka and there’s nothing they could do.”

Finally, Kristaps Porzingis spoke on just how spectacular Doncic is. However for him, he’s been able to witness all of these late-game shots from Doncic in person.

“Of course, it’s incredible. The guy is so clutch, it’s insane,” said Porzingis of Doncic. “The step back 3’s he’s able to knock down, it’s always fun to watch him play.”

This shot brought the Mavericks to a 6-3 record, which is good for third in the tough Western Conference. For teams that want to compete for championships, it’s wins like this throughout the season that define their success.

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