Luka Doncic continues to torture the Phoenix Suns. In the Christmas nightcap, Doncic scored 50 points to go with 15 assists, six rebounds, four steals and three blocks as the Mavericks defeated Phoenix 128-114.
Doncic hit eight 3-pointers, which ties a Christmas record. He was 12-for-12 at the free-throw line, and an efficient 12-for-25 from the field. No active player has ever scored more in a Christmas Day game. The standout night also doubles as the sixth 50-point performance of Doncic’s career and just the fourth 50 point game on Christmas Day overall. Only Bernard King (60) and Wilt Chamberlain (59) have put up more points on a single Christmas than Doncic, who is tied with Rick Barry for most points on the annual holiday.
If that wasn’t enough history, Doncic now has more 50-point performances than every other Maverick in history combined. Yes, you read that correctly. The great Dirk Nowitzki had two, while Jamal Mashburn and Jim Jackson contributed one each, respectively. For reference, this is just Doncic’s sixth season in the league. Nowitzki compiled those two 50-point games over 21 seasons, all with the Mavericks.
And if somehow all of the above still isn’t enough history for the 6-foot-7 guard, he also reached 10K career points. More on that below:
Speaking of career numbers …
With just under five minutes to play in the first quarter, Doncic, who is yet to even turn 25 years old, casually cashed what officially went down as a 34-foot 3-pointer to cross the 10K career-point mark for his career.
Only five other players have scored 10K points before their 25th birthday, and they are some of the best scorers to ever live: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Tracy McGrady. The trio of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Devin Booker and Dwight Howard barely missed the mark, having achieved the feat within weeks of their 25th birthday,
At 24 years and 300 days, Doncic, per Elias Sports, is the sixth youngest player in history to enter the 10K club (the last player to do it at a younger age was Michael Jordan), and the seventh fastest in terms of games played at 358.
Among active players, nobody has reached 10K faster than Doncic, who did it in 10 fewer games than LeBron (368).
As soon as he hit the shot, Doncic immediately started jawing with Suns fans, who had taken to booing him whenever he touched the ball as he was busy lighting Phoenix up during a first quarter that saw him pour in 17 points.
The man has been torturing the Suns since he and the Mavericks blew them right out of the playoffs with a 33-point shellacking in Game 7 of the 2022 Western Conference Semifinals.
The last time the Mavs and Suns played, Doncic and Devin Booker went nose to nose at the end of the game. Doncic’s potential game-tying floater had rimmed out, and he and Booker were going back and forth. They got double technicals.
Said Doncic of the exchange with Booker: “Next time, don’t wait ’til three seconds left to talk.”
Christmas was the “next time,” and Doncic, who had scored at least 30 points in 12 of his previous 13 games entering play in Phoenix, came out blazing.
This is not a guy you want to challenge to a duel. There’s not a player in the league that scores easier than Doncic, and that includes Booker and his teammate Kevin Durant.
Doncic can damn near get a bucket whenever he wants, and he’s certainly gotten a lot of them through the first 358 games of what it already a surefire Hall of Fame career.