Luka Doncic led the Dallas Mavericks to a staggering 147-97 victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. Achieving an extraordinary triple-double with 40 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists in just three periods, Doncic made history, surpassing NBA legend Larry Bird to claim sole possession of ninth place on the career triple-double list.
Reflecting on his achievement, Doncic humbly acknowledged the significance of surpassing Bird, a basketball icon. "Pretty amazing," Doncic said, sporting a thin headband for the first time just days after becoming a father.
"I don’t know what to say, honestly. We all know who Larry Bird was, so it’s pretty special."
Mavericks' Dominant Performance and Jazz's Struggle
The Mavericks’ victory was marked by an offensive masterclass, with the team's highest-scoring game this season and falling just two points short of their highest-scoring game ever in regulation.
Teammate Tim Hardaway Jr. lauded Doncic's performance, stating, “Luka set the tone with that, knocking down shot after shot after shot … after shot after shot after shot”. Doncic, who played 32 minutes, shot 14 of 25 from the floor and 6 of 12 on 3-pointers.
His achievement was not just a personal milestone but also a testament to the team's prowess as they shot a season-best 55.4% from the floor and succeeded in 22 out of 49 3-point attempts. On the other end, the Utah Jazz, coached by Will Hardy, faced one of their most challenging games.
"That was an absolutely horrendous performance," Hardy admitted, noting the Mavericks’ superior pace and energy. Doncic's 60 career triple-doubles have come in just 349 regular-season games, a stark contrast to Bird’s 897.
This statistic underlines Doncic's rapid ascent in the NBA hierarchy. Kyrie Irving added 26 points for Dallas, which was coming off two consecutive home losses. The Jazz, missing key players like Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson, faced their 10th road loss in 11 games.
The Mavericks’ triumph, fueled by Doncic's historic night, was more than a win; it was a statement game that echoed throughout the NBA.