Luka Doncic had a historic triple-double in the New York Knicks’ 126-121 overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old scored a career-high 60 points and a career-high 21 rebounds to go with 10 assists, leading the Mavericks to a nine-point deficit with just 33 seconds left in regulation.
It’s the first time in NBA history that a player has reached that stat line.
“I’m tired as hell,” Doncic said after the game. “I need a recovery bear.”
Over the past 20 seasons, all 13,884 NBA teams have lost games by at least 9 points with 35 seconds or less, according to ESPN.
But in a dramatic finale, Doncic deliberately missed a free kick and secured the rebound to score the game and force extra time.
The Slovenian star scored 10 points in the final minute and added seven more in overtime.
Doncic also joined James Harden as the only player in NBA history to record a 60-point triple-double and became the sixth player after Oscar Robertson, Harden, and Russell Westbrook to record six or more 40-point triple-doubles. Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James.
“We’ve seen it on the screen now,” Doncic said of his goalscoring streak. “We were watching NBA TV. I mean, just being in those comparisons and being with those guys is amazing at any level. It’s amazing to me.”
Doncic’s 60 points surpassed Dirk Nowitzki’s 53 points against Houston in 2004 and set a new franchise scoring record for Dallas.
Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd said of Doncic’s leadership: “With age, coming here on his birthday in the new year, I think he’s seen everything at 23 years old.” But the competition to win is at a very high level – and it showed tonight.
“Things weren’t good. Give the Knicks credit, they were making a lot of threes that we didn’t think was possible. They were making more plays. We were down 10. We were in this position early in the season, when you talk about giving up a lead or giving up a game like that.
“Staying together and trusting, Luca was a big part of that. He didn’t give up when the game was over. You could see he was picking up the whole court, we had a big jump ball. There are a lot of things we learned from losing in close games like this.”
The Mavericks improve to 19-16 on the season and move up to sixth in the Western Conference, while the Knicks have now lost four straight to sit sixth in the Eastern Conference.