Luka Doncic historic shooting masterclass overshadows Aussie v Aussie showdown in Atlanta
When Luka Doncic is in a mood, no NBA team can stop him.
The Atlanta Hawks found that out the hard way, as the Slovenian superstar put on a scoring clinic, becoming just the tenth player in NBA history to produce a 70-point game.
The day after Australia Day, Patty Mills Atlanta was taking on Boomers teammates from Dallas in Josh Green, but their involvement on the court was humbled by the might of Doncic, who finished with 73 points as the Mavs won a high-scoring shootout 148-143.
Green was the only starter of the Aussie contingent and produced a three-pointer in the opening two minutes followed up by a bucket, giving the Mavs 11-7 lead heading into the first time out, just over four minutes in.
Exum entered the game five minutes in, soon followed by Patty Mills, with all three Aussies on the court for a short period. Mills marked his Boomer teammate Exum, but the Hawk’s first stint was less than three minutes, without a stat to his name.
Green was one of the two go-to options for the Mavericks in the first quarter, lighting up the court with a spectacular reverse dunk, before coming to the bench with his second personal foul of the game.
Josh Green REVERSE ????
— NBA (@NBA) January 27, 2024
Hawks surged home to finish the first quarter in front, but that’s when Donic got hot, with the seven of first ten points to start the second quarter.
Green took his score to double figures midway through the second, but Atlanta always had the reply, and neither team were able to take away any substantial lead.
Doncic finished a monster first half with 41 points to go along with four assists and five rebounds. To put it in context, Atlanta’s Bogdan Bogdanovic was the next top scorer for the half with 15 points.
Dante Exum saw out final seconds of first half after an offensive foul to Derrick Jones Jr that left him with a painful injury. But he and Mills both finished the half scoreless.
Doncic picked up where he left off in the third quarter, with Dallas’ first three of the second half, while Green soon had 15 points.
Exum was not enjoying the same success, missing his second from the field in a row to remain scoreless.
But at the halfway stage of the quarter, the Mavericks had opened up a nine-point lead. As the Slovenian passed 50, Green ended the third quarter with 17 points.
THE AND-1 BRINGS LUKA DONCIC UP TO 73 POINTS????
He’s the 10th player ever to score 70+ points ????
— NBA (@NBA) January 27, 2024
Exum’s first points came late in the third quarter, producing back-to-back buckets to keep Dallas six points clear heading into the final quarter.
Atlanta briefly had the margin back to three in the opening stages of the fourth before the Luka Doncic show resumed and even Hawks fans were out of their seats – eight straight points and the quarter was not even two minutes old.
Showing the confidence of the Mavericks superstar, with his team cruising to the win, he tried a behind-the-back pass to himself, tripped himself over but still managed to keep the ball alive for a teammate.
Hawks rallied late, cutting the lead to within three points in the final two minutes, but Dallas held on in a thriller Exum putting the icing on the cake with a beautiful three-pointer to end the comeback run.
Doncic’s 73 points came at 25/33 from the field including eight three-pointers. In addition, he had 10 rebounds and seven assists.
Green making it to 21 points (four assists and two rebounds) and Exum finished with nine points (3 assists).