Luka Doncic and Draymond Green, two of the NBA’s most frequent triple-double performers in recent seasons, go head-to-head for the first time this year when the Dallas Mavericks host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.
Doncic flirted with LeBron James-created history on Monday in Dallas’ 117-110 home win over the San Antonio Spurs as he logged his league-leading sixth triple-double of the season.
What made this one particularly memorable was that Doncic scored 42 points, becoming the second-youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double that included a 40-point effort.
Like Doncic, James accomplished the feat at age 20, but LeBron was five months younger.
Doncic got the better of James in one area, however, as his youthful triple-double featured 42 points, whereas James scored 40 on his historic night in April 2005.
“This guy can do anything he wants to on a basketball court,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said Monday of Doncic. “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.”
With Doncic leading the way, the Mavericks have opened a heavyweight-laden, four-game homestand with two straight wins.
The victories came over the reigning NBA champion Toronto Raptors on Saturday and the 2014 champion San Antonio Spurs on Monday.
The other two teams to have claimed titles since 2014 — three-time champ Golden State and 2016 winner Cleveland — complete the homestand in the next three days.
Like the Raptors and Spurs before them, the Warriors and Cavaliers will see that the Mavericks feature more than just Doncic.
Big man Kristaps Porzingis, after sitting out last season with an ACL injury and beginning this year with just one double-double in Dallas’ first 10 games, has come on strong in the team’s past three contests, recording a double-double in each.
He had 20 points and 15 rebounds in the Mavericks’ Saturday win over Toronto, then complemented Doncic’s triple-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds against the Spurs.
The Warriors will be seeking their first winning streak of the season when they complete a back-to-back in Dallas.
Thanks to Green’s near-triple-double, Golden State dispatched the host Memphis Grizzlies 114-95 on Tuesday.
Green contributed eight points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists to the win, just missing what would have been his second triple-double of the season.
The Warriors’ defensive standout has 23 triple-doubles in his career. Doncic, who is in just his second season, has totaled 14.
Green insisted the Tuesday victory, which snapped a seven-game losing streak, was more about team defense than any of his numbers.
“We came in fighting,” he said. “”We’ve been talking about improving our defense. We got stops at the start of the game, and we were able to get our tempo and we kept the game at our pace.”
Green and Doncic went head-to-head three times last season, with Doncic getting the only triple-double — 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a win at Golden State in March.
Green had an earlier double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds in a December home win.
–Field Level Media