On paper, the November 1 match in Dallas between the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks looked like it would be like watching TV.
The Lakers and Mavericks both made trades for talented bigs ahead of the 2019-20 season as Dallas acquired Kristaps Porzingis to join Luca Donsick and Los Angeles acquired Anthony Davis to join LeBron James.
Those trades were still working when both teams entered the game with a 3–1 record to start the season.
In court, it lived up to the publicity. LeBron James and Luca Doncic both shined with outstanding performances, which pushed the game into overtime, where the Lakers eventually pulled away for a 119–110 road win.
Let’s take a closer look at these demonstrations and the paths that led to them.
It is hard to believe that Luca Donsik is just 20 years old. What he did as a 19-year-old cheater for the Mavericks last season was nothing short of remarkable.
A gain of 21.2 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game and six assists per game last year was not great for just one cheater or great for a 19-year-old; It was very good, period. No qualifiers required.
On April 9, 2019, Donsik recorded the eighth triple-double of his cheating season with 21 points, a career-high 16 rebounds, and 11 assists.
In doing so, he passed Magic Johnson’s record seven triple-doubles by a player under 21 years old. Doncic recorded four of those three-doubles while he was still 19, becoming the first teenager in NBA history to record multiple triple-doubles. 20 years old.
Luka Donsik did not turn 21 until February 28, and it looks like he is going to be included in his triple-double record before that.
Doncic already has two games in 2019-20, scoring 25 points against the New Orleans Pelicans last month with 10 rebounds and 10 assists and then began November with 31 points, 13 rebounds, and 15 Lakers.
In his second season in the NBA, at just 20 years old, this kid is averaging 26.2 points, 8.4 assists and 7.6 rebels per game. The sky is limited over Luca Donsik’s career.
LeBron James missed the playoffs for the first time since the last season of 2005. After debuting in 2011, ESPN ranked James at number 1 for the first time, returning to the NBARank list in 2011.
An anonymous poll of 20 NBA executives found that one of those executives had not yet considered LeBron James the league’s best player.
“Okay okay. Enough is enough,” James tweeted in August. “The throne has been played with [a lot] and I’m not for horseshoes. Coming soon! ”
With a lot of offensive possessions running through Anthony Davis this season, LeBron James may not have kept the numbers used as the focal point of the offense this season.
But on nights like today, he can still remind us what he is capable of.
LeBron James led the Lakers with a final stat line of 39 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds. After Luke Doncic reduced his Los Angeles lead to double-digit overtime with his fourth three-pointer game, James tied his fourth three-pointer with a dagger for good.
According to ESPN Stats and Info, Sunday night’s game marked the first time in NBA history that two players from opposing teams recorded a 15-assist triple-double.
It was only the third time in league history that both opposing teammates recorded 30-point triple-doubles.
Watching the blast of these two superstars made for a thrilling show all night, and basketball fans will be circling their calendars on December 1, when the two teams reunite in Los Angeles.
Someday Doncic may sit on the throne, but after this one, it is difficult to dispute that LeBron James is still the king.