Luka Dončić is an All-Star for the third consecutive season after coaches voted him in as one of seven Western Conference reserves announced Thursday evening.

It will mark his first time as a reserve after being a starter the last two seasons.

It was not a surprise to see Luka’s selection. He has eight triple-doubles this season, fifth-most in the NBA and has 43 of them for his career, tied for 10th all-time.

He’s averaging 26 points, 8.8 rebounds and 8.9 assists, making it impossible for coaches to ignore him as an All-Star reserve.

He will be drafted next Thursday by one of the captains (LeBron James or Kevin Durant) for the game Feb. 20, which is in Cleveland this year.

“If (Dončić) is not the best player in the world, he’s right on the cusp,” said former Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle when he brought his Indiana Pacers through Dallas in January. “He’s just so, so good . . . and as a person, too. I know what a good guy he is. I’ve seen a lot of that.

“(And) every year, he’s just gotten better and better and better.”

The Mavericks are contending for a home-court advantage in the Western Conference, which also didn’t hurt Dončić’s credentials.

After missing out on the All-Star Game in his rookie season, the 6-7 point guard instead was named to the Rising Stars Game.

He then was selected by fans, players and media members as a starter the last two seasons.

This year, he missed 10 games in December because of a leg injury and COVID-19 protocols. That not only kept Dončić out of sight from fans and opponents, but also hurt the Mavericks’ record, essentially sabotaging any chance he had of being voted in as a starter.

The 22-year-old joins Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Isiah Thomas, Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis as the only players to earn three All-Star nods before their 23rd birthday (Davis only appeared in two of those games, while the others saw action in all three). Dončić also joins Dirk Nowitzki (11 straight selections, 2002 to 2012) and Rolando Blackman (1985, 1986, 1987) as the only Mavericks to earn three-or-more consecutive All-Star bids.

Joining Luka on the West squad is Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Chris Paul, Utah’s Rudy Gobert  and Donovan Mitchell, Golden State’s Draymond Green and Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns. Green has announced he will not play in the game and will be replaced, perhaps by San Antonio’s Dejounte Murray.

Twitter: @ESefko

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