As triple doubles go, this wasn’t the prettiest one.
Luka Doncic shot 5-for-20 from the field and 2-for-10 from 3-point range. The step-back took a step back on this night.
Nevertheless, the Mavericks’ star rookie finished with 19 points, six in a 58-second span that helped the Mavericks turn an 88-86 lead into a six-point advantage that they would nurture to the finish line.
He tacked on 11 assists and 10 rebounds in the 99-93 victory over Charlotte for the third triple double of his first NBA season.
His three triple doubles have come in the last seven games, during which he has averaged 24.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 8 assists.
Doncic now is the first Mavericks with three triple doubles in a season since Jason Kidd in 2008-09. The last Maverick with four triple doubles in a season was Michael Finley in 1998-99.
In addition, Doncic now joins seven other rookies since 1983-84 with at least three triple doubles: Ben Simmons (12), Jason Kidd (4) and David Robinson, Lamar Odom, Michael Jordan, Kevin Johnson and Tim Hardaway Sr. (3 each).
And Doncic still has 29 games left in his rookie season.
“It’s great,” he said of his third triple double. “We got the win, so that’s all that matters.”
The Mavericks’ locker room was a bit subdued because of the news that Harrison Barnes had been traded to the Sacramento Kings, pending league approval. Coach Rick Carlisle talked at length about it and Doncic said it was basically speechless about the deal.
What he did like was the way the Mavericks got a win in the first appearance of Tim Hardaway Jr., who was part of the package in the Kristaps Porzingis trade last week.
“We have great guys coming in,” he said. “It’s always hard with new players, but we did a good job.”
The Mavericks will be welcoming in a new player or two before Friday’s game against Milwaukee, so the transition definitely is ongoing.