Dončić leads Mavs to a victory over Pacers in his final day as a teenager
DALLAS – On his last night as a teenager Luka Dončić led the Dallas Mavericks to a 110-101 victory over the Indiana Pacers. The Mavs broke a five-game losing streak. Just a couple of hours before turning 20, Dončić spent his last moments as a teenager doing what he loves most – making one clutch 3-point basket after another. Rookie sensation scored 26 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. He closed out his teenage years in grand style.
After the game he told reporters he won’t feel any different when he turns 20. “Same thing,” Dončić said. And how will he celebrate his birthday? “I’ll just go to dinner with my friends and family. Nothing special,” he said.
Dončić had no interest in summing up his four-month teenage NBA career, but Dallas’ coach Rick Carlisle did. “One word: Phenomenal,” Carlisle said. “It’s been quite an adventure with him and everything that has gone on, the amount of excitement and enthusiasm, interest that he’s generated and yet he’s not looking for attention. His sort of place of sanctuary is the court. That’s where he’s comfortable; loves to play.”
In addition to Dončić rookie Jalen Brunson had a career-high 24 points, five assists and three steals. All five Mavs starters scored in double-figures. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 20 points, Dwight Powell scored 12 points and 40-year-old Dirk Nowitzki scored 11 points. Nowitzki moved to within 69 points of passing Wilt Chamberlain for sixth place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
The Mavs are now 27-32 going into Saturday night’s home game against the Memphis Grizzlies.