Luka done did it again.
Not only did the Mavericks’ rookie sensation hit the game-deciding 3 in Friday’s 119-115 victory over the Timberwolves, he nailed two other go-ahead buckets in the final two minutes, becoming the first rookie to do so since Vince Carter in April, 1999.
Doncic finished with 29 points, 8 rebounds and 12 assists — just shy of his first triple-double, which would’ve matched Markelle Fultz for youngest ever at 19 years, 317 days old. He still has 48 days to join him as the only teenagers to do it.
And that late flurry rendered irrelevant an awesome game by Karl-Anthony Towns, who put up 30 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks, including this soul-crusher on Wes Matthews:
Yet Doncic wasn’t the only rising star soaring in a clutch moment, as Hawks rookie Kevin Huerter’s long-distance 3 set up second-year man John Collins for an unguardable, ice water fade to steal back a game it looked like the Sixers were closing out.
Collins finished with 25 points and nine rebounds; Huerter posted 29 points, three assists and two steals. Toss in Trae Young and the Hawks, quietly, seem to be establishing a foundation for the future.
Note that bomb might not have been Huerter’s best shot of the night. Just take the letter.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
Good talk, see you out there.
Curry Takes Third … in 3s … on No. 3. Really.
For the second night in a row, someone staked a claim to third place on an all-time list. Thursday, it was Pop; Friday, it was Steph Curry.
With his third triple (No. 2,282 overall) in Friday’s 146-109 blowout of the Bulls, the two-time Kia MVP passed Jason Terry; Curry now trails only Reggie Miller (2,560; 1,389 games) and Ray Allen (2,973; 1,300 games).
The kicker is that Curry’s gotten there in roughly half their games played. It’s only been 656 in the books for Steph, who’s been dropping more than 250 threes in each healthy season since 2012-13, including that bananas 402 in ’15-16. Assuming pace, that next 700 could come by the end of calendar year 2020(!!), if not that ’20-21 season, which Curry would complete at age 33. Lotta time to run up the score on that one, yikes.
Tomas Satoranksy set the bar early, tallying 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in the Wizards’ 113-106 victory against a Giannis-less Bucks squad. Ben Simmons cleared it with 23, 10 and 15 against the Hawks.
Also, James Harden did this:
… in 30 minutes. Chalk up a 43-point, 10-rebound, 12-assist 3×2 on the game log, which has now officially rocketed out of orbit.
With Doncic and Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (11 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, six blocks) both threatening to join the club on Friday, it nearly set a new mark for most in a single day of action. Alas, the record stands at four, achieved three times to date, most recently on Feb. 25, 1999.
Victor Oladipo and the Pacers generally crushed it at life at The Garden, routing the hapless Knicks 121-106 as the star guard posted 19 points, six assists and four rebounds.
That said, Oladipo did put up five turnovers, including this Shaqtin’-bound lowlight:
One More Chance
Sometimes dunking is an Everyday Struggle. Sometimes the rim is a Friend of Mine, and that’s Unbelievable.
Here’s The What on this Juicy bounce:
Jarrett Allen botched dunk or perfect assist? 😂 pic.twitter.com/sLXqBfvWED
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) January 12, 2019