Luka Doncic put the entire league on notice Sunday afternoon, as he led the Mavericks to a clutch game four win against the Clippers. Along with his historic triple-double and game-winning buzzer-beater, the Slovenian Wunderkind was showered with praise from his NBA contemporaries.
Players around the league were left jaw-dropped, as Doncic dominated against one of the NBA’s elite defensive teams. Everyone from LeBron James to Stephen Curry lauded the 21-year-old for his brilliance on the court.
The myriad of reactions didn’t just come from the league’s elite, as other young superstars felt it pertinent to recognize Doncic on his historic night. Trae Young — Doncic’s draft-night trade partner — even found himself starstruck by the performance.
Even future Hall-of-Famers Dwyane Wade and Paul Pierce had to get in on the “commemorate Luka” wagon.
Doncic put forth a herculean effort. He was a game-time decision but eventually played with a compromised ankle. With Porzingis out, Doncic overcame a 21-point deficit and became only the third player in league history to notch 40+ points, 15+ rebounds, and 10+ assists in a playoff game. Charles Barkley and Oscar Robertson are the only other players to post that stat line. Moreover, Doncic is also tied for the second-most points in playoff triple-double.
Luka Doncic’s game-winner is historical as well. At just 21-years-old, Doncic is the youngest player in NBA history to knock down a game-winning buzzer-beater. That makes him the only player other than Michael Jordan to cap a 40-point performance with a game-winner while trailing in a postseason game, according to ESPN stats and info.
Amidst the endless praise from players and fans alike, the young phenom credited his team’s confidence for the win. “If you don’t believe, you shouldn’t be here,” Doncic stated in the postgame. “We’ve believed from the beginning, and now we’re tied 2-2.”
The Clippers and Mavericks will play game five on Tuesday, as both teams look to take the edge.