Luka Dončić and the NBA All-Star game are back together again.

For the second year in a row, Dončić has been voted as a starter in the prestigious midseason classic that has the game’s best players putting their phenomenal talents on display. After starting in last year’s All-Star game in Chicago, the Dallas Mavericks’ superstar point guard becomes the first player in Mavs’ history voted as an All-Star starter in two consecutive seasons.

“He’s on the highest possible trajectory that a young player can be on,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He is one of the faces of the league and he’s deserving to be an All-Star starter.

“He’s having a great year, our team is playing better and he’s certainly deserving.”

LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets) and Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers are the other Western Conference starters. The Eastern Conference starters are Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) and Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets).

Besides Jason Kidd in 1996, Dončić is the only member of the Mavs to be voted as an All-Star game starter. Dirk Nowitzki started in the 2007 and 2010 All-Star games as a replacement for two other injured players.

Just 21 years old, Dončić is currently fifth in the NBA in scoring (29.1), third in assists (9.4), 18th in rebounding (8.6), and also is the co-leader in triple-doubles with seven. In addition, he has scored 42 or more points in three of the last five games.

After Dončić tagged the New Orleans Pelicans for a career-high 46 points last Friday, guard Jalen Brunson said: “Luka’s obviously Luka Dončić, so he is going to get the ball most of the time in the game so he’s going to get plays for himself and for others.

“That kid isn’t rushed. There’s no hesitation with him. Obviously we all know what he can do. He’s able to do that at any given time of the game, so there’s no surprise there.”

Now in his third season, Dončić averaged 28.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 10.3 assists in the month of January. After averaging a 30-point triple-double in November of 2019, Dončić joins Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook as the only players to ever average a triple-double – a 10-game minimum – in multiple calendar months.

This year’s All-Star game will be played March 7 in Atlanta.

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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