As one of the completed prospects to enter the NBA in years, expectations have been excessive for Luka Doncic. We would want to start out pondering even greater.

The rookie from Slovenia added to his rising mystique Friday night time, taking on late to steer the Dallas Mavericks to a 119-115 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Doncic completed with 29 factors and scored seven of the Mavericks’ remaining 9, together with a go-ahead 3-pointer over Karl-Anthony Cities with 22.9 seconds left.

Doncic added 12 assists and eight rebounds, simply lacking his first profession triple-double. At 19 years, 317 days, he’s the youngest participant with at the least 25 factors and 10 assists in a sport since LeBron James (19 years, 95 days) did it in 2004.

Doncic is the second rookie in Mavericks historical past with at the least 25 factors, 10 assists and 5 rebounds in a sport, becoming a member of Jason Kidd (April 11, 1995).

“That is what he does up to now for us,” stated longtime Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki. “He is been an important nearer for us.”

Whereas his stat strains have been historic, maybe much more spectacular has been Doncic’s late-game heroics. He’s second within the league in subject purpose proportion throughout clutch time. Doncic is taking pictures 57.1 % when the sport is inside 5 factors within the remaining 5 minutes, trailing solely Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo’s 63.2 %.

His propensity for large late pictures was on full show towards the T’wolves. Dallas led by 10 halfway via the fourth quarter, however Minnesota rallied to take a 111-110 lead with 1:41 left. Doncic answered with a brief floater within the lane to place the Mavericks again up.

Jeff Teague then scored for the T’wolves, however Doncic answered once more with a drive and dunk. Taj Gibson tipped in a Teague miss to place Minnesota forward 115-114 and pressure a Dallas timeout with 35.7 seconds left.

After a stolen inbound go and loose-ball scramble, Doncic regained possession, coolly pulled up from about 28 toes and buried a Three over Cities to place the Mavericks again up for good. Doncic had missed seven of his earlier eight 3-point makes an attempt main as much as the shot. Harrison Barnes hit a pair of free throws for the ultimate margin.

“He is a expertise,” interim T’wolves coach Ryan Saunders stated of Doncic. “Large-time gamers make big-time performs. He made one tonight and we’re feeling it.”

In accordance with ESPN Stats & Information, Doncic is the primary rookie to make three go-ahead subject targets within the remaining two minutes of regulation since Vince Carter on April 1, 1999.

Doncic is already the Mavericks’ main scorer and first amongst all rookies at 20 factors per sport. He’s second amongst rookies with 5 assists and provides 6.7 rebounds a contest. Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan are the one rookies in NBA historical past to common at the least 20 factors, six rebounds and 5 assists, based on

“It is a massive win for us,” stated Dallas coach Rick Carlisle. “It has been a troublesome stretch. This was a very good job as a crew.”

Observe Matt Eppers on Twitter @meppers_.


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