Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks came to Crypto.com Arena and handed the Los Angeles Lakers their second loss out of nine home games and their second loss in their last eight total games. LeBron James and the Lakers clawed their way back from a 20-point deficit, but ultimately fell 104-101 in the final moments.
Doncic had his fingerprints all over the victory. He scored a game-high 30 points to go along with 12 rebounds and eight assists. The assists were also a game high and the rebounds sat one behind Anthony Davis for the game high. As is often the case, Doncic was the best player on the floor in a game that included multiple other superstars.
James has been one of the most vocal superstars in the league when it comes to praising Doncic for his work. Each time the Lakers and Mavericks face off, James can be found singing Doncic’s praises and saying that the sky is the limit. He did so again on Wednesday night when asked where Doncic could take his career.
“Wherever he wants to. It’s up to him. Obviously we know what he’s capable of doing on the floor, that’s without question. So it’s up to him.”
The Mavericks are off to a much better start to 2023-24 than their end to last season, when they effectively tanked their way to keeping a top-10 protected draft pick. And Doncic has been the driving force, as he has been for any Mavericks successes since they acquired him on draft night in 2018.
And as for his ceiling, there appears to be no limit on what Doncic could accomplish. In five full NBA seasons, he has four All-Star and four All-NBA selections. He is undoubtedly one of the best players in the game today, and at age 24, he’ll likely continue to be for a long time.
James, regardless of how long he continues to play, surely will watch Doncic’s growth as he enters the prime years of his career.
Austin Reaves regrets leaving Kyrie Irving open
A defining moment of Wednesday’s loss to the Mavericks, at least in the mind of Lakers guard Austin Reaves, came when Kyrie Irving hit a three to take the lead in the fourth quarter. Reaves felt he defended the play poorly and spoke about how he would change it.
“The Kyrie 3 that he hit to go up one. I made a dumb decision and dropped a little to far,” Reaves said. “It was a two-point game and Luka was driving and I just made a bad decision and should’ve fanned out because a two, they tie it instead of go up one. And then we can take the last shot or whatever with the time being what it was at the time. But that’s the one that’ll stick with me because I should know better and do better.”
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