Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic came up with another match-winning performance on Sunday against Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Centre.
The Mavericks racked one of their biggest wins of the season beating the Lakers and making a statement that they are one of the teams need to be taken seriously.
For Luka Doncic, the game held more significance as he was playing against his childhood legend LeBron James and, safe to say, outplayed him.
It was just about an year ago that he had faced his LeBron James for the first time at Staples Centre.
“I remember that day,” Doncic said after Sunday’s game as per a video obtained from ESPN. “Normally, I was never nervous before a game. That game, I was nervous, for sure. It was something special for me. Just growing up, I used to watch him a lot. It was something special that game.”
Doncic scored 21 points in the second half, and 16 points & five assists in the third quarter alone. It was in that quarter that the Mavericks really picked up with a run of 28-5.
Luka Doncic drops 16 3rd quarter PTS for the @dallasmavs on League Pass! #MFFL pic.twitter.com/WmenDd55M4
— NBA (@NBA) December 1, 2019
During the game, Doncic was many times doubled up by the Lakers. However, the duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James was not enough to stop the 20-year old, who finished the game with 27 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.
Doncic might have been delighted when he drilled a deep, step-back 3-pointer over James in the fourth quarter.
When asked about his mindset while facing players like LeBron and Davis, he felt it was more strategic.
“For me Basketball is like playing Chess,” he said. “You got to read the game. If they double you, there’s going to be somebody open,”
“It was great to win,” he said. “It means a lot to us. It shows that we can play against big teams too, and keep them rolling like that.
“I think the difference came in the third quarter. Our defence worked really good. We mixed up some zone in it and it was just great defense.”
Luka Doncic hits a stepback three in Lebron’s face, so smooth he almost makes those jerseys look good pic.twitter.com/BiXakyvYCd
— Nick Angstadt (@NickVanExit) December 1, 2019
Mavericks coach Rick Charlisle was also delighted with his star man’s performance.
“He hit a couple of hellacious shots that there’s just a small handful of guys in the whole world can hit,” Charlisle said. “LeBron James is one of them. He’s one of them. Those step-back 30-footers — it’s hard to describe how difficult of a shot it is and how easy he makes it look.”