Dallas – Slovenian NBA star Luka Dončić scored 51 points, his career-high, as the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night. He erupted already at the start of the game, scoring 28 points in the first quarter alone in what is the record of this NBA season.
The 22-year-old also had nine rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block. He hit seven three-pointers in the first quarter to make it to 28 points, thus breaking the previous record for this season, 25 points, which had been set by Stephen Curry.
The all-time NBA record for most points in a single quarter is held by Klay Thompson, who scored 37 points in the third quarter of a Warriors vs Kings faceoff in January 2015.
The Slovenian continued with his impressive showing in the second half and took charge again in the key moments of the final quarter, scoring eight consecutive points to help Dallas maintain lead.
The arena chanted “MVP! MVP!” as Dončić hit a free throw and surpassed the 50-point mark with 40 seconds of the game left.
“He was really fun to watch,” said Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd after the game as he lauded the point guard’s performance.
Dončić broke the 50-point barrier for the first time in his career after putting up numbers of at least 40 points 12 times in the NBA regular season and five times in the playoffs.
His team, the Mavs, are currently fifth in the West, but heading into the playoffs they will have to make do without Kristaps Porzingis as he was traded to the Washington Wizards. In return, the Mavericks will get Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans.
“We were building something big, but it apparently didn’t work out. I wish him all the best,” Dončić said of his now former teammate.
Goran Dragić, another Slovenian in the NBA, has also found a new team, at least temporarily, as the Toronto Raptors sent him to the San Antonio Spurs. He had played in a few games with the Raptors this season before leaving the team for personal reasons in November.
However, according to ESPN and other US media, he is not to play in San Antonio either and will instead negotiate a buyout. A number of teams are in the running to sign him, including the Mavericks, so he might even join Dončić there.