Triple-double fun: Luka does 25th b-day in style

NBA

Luka Doncic had 30 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds on his 25th birthday for his 11th triple-double of the season and the Dallas Mavericks beat the host Toronto Raptors 136-125 on Wednesday night.

Doncic, the NBA’s leading scorer, is the first player in league history to record a 30-point triple-double on his birthday. He has scored 25 or more points in nine straight games, topping 40 twice in that stretch.

“Just a normal game, triple-double,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. “He was really good. I guess 25 means he’s still going to be really good as he gets older here.”

Doncic shot 11 for 23, going just 1 of 8 from 3-point range, as Dallas snapped a two-game skid. He went 7 for 9 at the foul line.

According to ESPN Stats & Information research, he is just the fourth NBA player with 75 points, 20 rebounds and 30 assists over a two-game span, joining Pete Maravich, Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson.

Asked whether he considered 25 a milestone birthday, Doncic first asked for an explanation of the word before dismissing the idea.

“I feel like 40, so no,” the Slovenian star said with a smile.

Doncic and Kyrie Irving scored 22 points in the first half, then combined for 37 after the break.

“Kyrie and Luka, they had such a poise in important moments to make the right plays,” Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic said

Irving scored 15 of his 29 points overall in the fourth quarter and P.J. Washington Jr. added 23 points for Dallas. Daniel Gafford scored 13 points as the Mavericks bounced back from Tuesday’s tough loss at Cleveland, when Max Strus hit a 59-footer as time expired to give the Cavaliers a wild 121-119 win.

Doncic said he didn’t spend any time dwelling on that defeat.

“Zero,” he said. “That’s the beauty of the NBA, you get another chance the next day.”

Doncic had six of Dallas’ eight assists in the first quarter, including an eye-popping no-look, over-the-shoulder pass to Tim Hardaway Jr. for a wide-open 3-pointer. Washington scored 13 points in the first as the Mavs led 36-34 after one.

“Just seeing the way he breaks down the game and the way he can pass the ball, I think he’s special,” Washington said of Doncic.

Doncic scored eight points in the second and Hardaway added nine for Dallas, but Immanuel Quickley had 10 points for Toronto as the Raptors took a 67-66 lead at the half.

Dallas turned the ball over 10 times in the first half, leading to 15 points for the Raptors, but the Mavericks had just two miscues in the third. Doncic scored 11 points in the quarter and added six more assists as Dallas took a 106-92 edge to the fourth.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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