Luka Doncic brushed aside Oscar Robertson’s record by two years on Tuesday as the youngest player in NBA history to register 30+ points, 20+ rebounds and 10+ assists in a game.
The Slovenian chalked up a league-high 16th triple-double with 34 points, 20 rebounds and 12 assists to help the Dallas Mavericks to a 114-110 win over the Sacramento Kings.
It continued the former Real Madrid star’s ascent as one of European basketball’s standout success stories, not to mention one of the NBA’s brightest young talents.
“He has that ‘it’ factor,” said former eight-time NBA All-Star Vince Carter on TNT’s post-game show.
“Cool, calm, collected. He’s played some pro ball so it was an adjustment period for him at first as far as just the type of player he wants to be, but looking at him right now he gets it.”
Doncic and the Mavs currently sit in seventh in the Western Conference having already clinched a playoff spot thanks to the Memphis Grizzlies’ 108-106 defeat to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.
Next up is a clash with Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers in what could prove a valuable test heading into the postseason.
Two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker believes Doncic will require more assistance from his teammates, particularly from forward Kristaps Porzingis.
“You look at Porzingis coming off the knee injury, he plays completely different when Luka is off the floor so I would challenge him to play the way he plays when Luka was out injured earlier in the year and have that aggression,” said Parker.
“It almost seems like Porzingis defers a little bit too much, and a lot of people would. Luka is doing amazing things but you need Porzingis to step in.”
The Latvian chipped in with 22 points and seven rebounds on Tuesday night, while Tim Hardaway Jr. also provided 22 points as the kind of contributor three-time NBA champion Dwayne Wade has called on to deliver for Dallas.
“They have to have their role players step up and it’s definitely going to have to be a Tim Hardaway Jr or one of those role players that is giving them that kind of production, like 20+ points,” added Wade.
“I don’t think they have enough yet (to compete deep in the playoffs), but I think they’re doing a great job of building enough.”