DALLAS – Luka Doncic grew up idolizing LeBron James, and now the young NBA prodigy has joined James in the record book.
The Dallas Mavericks needed everything Doncic delivered in a sensational performance Monday night.
Doncic scored a career-high 42 points to go with 12 assists and 11 rebounds as the Mavericks held off the skidding San Antonio Spurs 117-110. The 20-year-old second-year guard joined James as the only players in league history younger than 21 to have a 40-point triple-double.
“It feels like every day there are stats you don’t know about, stats that you read about,” Doncic said. “It’s great to hit.”
Dallas led wire to wire but had to fend off a late Spurs rally, with Doncic hitting a 3-pointer with 26.5 seconds to play that put the Mavericks up 115-110 after the Spurs had rallied from 14 down at the start of the quarter.
Doncic has an NBA-leading six triple-doubles in just 13 games this season.
“This guy can do anything he wants to on a basketball court,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s having one of those magical runs right now. It’s a phenomenal thing to watch. It’s a phenomenal thing to be a part of.”
The Mavericks also got a career-high 22 points from Dorian Finney-Smith, and Kristaps Porzingis added 18 points and 10 rebounds.
San Antonio has lost six in a row, its longest slide since 2011, and dropped eight of nine since a 4-1 start. The Spurs are off to their worst start since 1996-97, the season before they drafted former star and current assistant coach Tim Duncan.
DeMar DeRozan scored a season-high 36 points for San Antonio, helping to lead a fourth-quarter surge after it trailed 93-79 entering the period.
“When adversity hits you can’t run from it, you can’t shy away from it, you can’t let it get you down,” DeRozan said. “Try to channel that energy and put it in the right place so we can understand why we got beat.”
Rockets 132, Trail Blazers 108
In Houston, James Harden scored 36 points, Russell Westbrook had 28 points and a triple-double, and the Rockets coasted to their eighth straight win over Portland.
CJ McCollum led the Trail Blazers with 25 points.
Celtics 99, Suns 85
In Phoenix, Jayson Tatum scored 26 points, Kemba Walker added 19 and Boston beat the Suns.
The Celtics (11-2) had a 10-game winning streak snapped Sunday by the Sacramento Kings but bounced back with a relatively easy road victory. Boston led by 15 at halftime and never had their lead cut to less than nine in the second half.
Devin Booker led Phoenix with 20 points.
Bucks 115, Bulls 101
In Chicago, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points and 10 rebounds to guide Milwaukee past the Bulls for its fourth straight victory.
Daniel Gafford led Chicago with 21 points in his return from the G League.
Timberwolves 112, Jazz 102
In Salt Lake City, Karl-Anthony Towns had seven 3-pointers and 29 points as Minnesota handed Utah its first home loss.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 18 points for the Jazz.
Raptors 132, Hornets 96
In Toronto, OG Anunoby scored a career-high 24 points before being poked in the right eye for the second time in four games, Pascal Siakam had 20 points and the Raptors routed Charlotte.
Pacers 115, Nets 86
In New York, Aaron Holiday had career highs with 24 points and 13 assists and Domantas Sabonis added 16 points and a career-high 18 rebounds as Indiana cruised past Brooklyn.
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 28 points for the Nets.
Knicks 123, Cavaliers 105
In New York, Julius Randle scored 30 points, Marcus Morris Sr. added 23 and the Knicks beat Cleveland.
Kevin Porter Jr. led the Cavaliers with 18 points.
Clippers 90, Thunder 88
In Los Angeles, Paul George hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 25 seconds left, lifting the Clippers over Oklahoma City to improve to 8-1 at home.
Montrezl Harrell had 28 points and 12 rebounds off the bench to lead the Clippers.
Thunder guard Chris Paul scored 22 points, making 10 of 11 free throws, against his former team.