NBA

Doncic not interested in comparisons to 'one of a kind' Jordan

By Sports Desk December 09, 2019

Luka Doncic insisted he could not be compared to "one of a kind" Michael Jordan despite breaking one of the NBA great's records on Sunday.

The MVP candidate had 27 points, seven rebounds and eight assists as the Dallas Mavericks slipped to a narrow defeat to the Sacramento Kings.

In doing so, Doncic enjoyed a 19th straight game with at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists - the best such streak of any player since the ABA-NBA merger.

The previous benchmark belonged to Jordan, who had a run of 18 20-5-5 performances in March 1989, but Doncic is not ready to see his name put alongside the six-time champion.

"There are a lot of stats going on," Doncic told reporters. "I think it's a little bit too much [about] stats.

"You can't compare anybody to Michael Jordan. He's one of a kind. Those are just stats."

Despite his personal achievement by the game's end, Doncic was not happy with his first-half performance as Dallas trailed by 20 points after two quarters.

"Our first half was maybe the worst of the season - starting with me," the 20-year-old said. "There was no energy. We came back in the second half doing much better stuff."

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    Luka Doncic is a "walking bucket" and the Dallas Mavericks fans should really appreciate being able to watch him, according to Carmelo Anthony.

    Last season's Rookie of the Year Doncic made a career-high eight three-pointers and had 35 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as the Mavs defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 120-112 at American Airlines Center on Friday.

    Anthony had 22 points for the Blazers, who slipped to an 18-25 record and sit 2.5 games back of the playoff positions in the Western Conference.

    When the 10-time All-Star was informed Doncic had referred to him as a "walking bucket", he returned the compliment.

    Anthony continued: "As far as Luka goes, he's gonna be in this league for a long time.

    "He's a young player and he's gonna get better and better. For years to come we're gonna to be watching a special player.

    "I hope you guys out here in Dallas really appreciate what you have in front of you right now."

    Anthony, who in November joined the Blazers after nine months without a team having been waived by the Chicago Bulls following his trade from the Houston Rockets, became the 18th player to reach 26,000 career points when he scored a free throw in the first quarter in Dallas.

    "This is a situation where I've always continued to believe in myself and I think with that being the case I'm able to still go out there and perform the way I want to be able to perform and enjoy the game again," he said.

    "I think people understand the situation I was in, but most important I think people understand the type of person I am. When you have that organic natural energy, people pick up on those vibes."

    Portland lost CJ McCollum to a left ankle sprain in the second quarter and he did not return to the game. It is unclear if he will be fit to face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.

    "Usually, the second day is the worst," McCollum said. "So we'll see how it feels [on Saturday]. Get some treatment, try to compress it and see how it feels."

  • Doncic lifts Mavericks, Hawks end San Antonio wait Doncic lifts Mavericks, Hawks end San Antonio wait

    Luka Doncic starred once more for the Dallas Mavericks, while the Atlanta Hawks ended a long wait in San Antonio in the NBA.

    Doncic's 35 points, eight rebounds and seven assists guided the Mavericks past the Portland Trail Blazers 120-112 on Friday.

    He got plenty of support from Tim Hardaway Jr., who chipped in with 29 points as the Mavericks improved to 27-15.

    Damian Lillard poured in 34 points for the Trail Blazers, while Hassan Whiteside had a double-double of 21 points and 18 rebounds.

    The Hawks recorded their first win in San Antonio since 1997 thanks to a 121-120 victory over the Spurs.

    Trae Young posted 31 points, while Kevin Huerter hit a three-pointer with seven seconds remaining for the game-winner.

    Simmons shines as Raptors crush Wizards

    Ben Simmons finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in the Philadelphia 76ers' 100-89 win over the Chicago Bulls.

    Norman Powell (28 points) and Terence Davis (23) led the Toronto Raptors past the Washington Wizards 140-111.

    Jimmy Butler had 14 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in the Miami Heat's 115-108 victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

     

    Dunn struggles

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    Morant magic

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    Friday's results

    Indiana Pacers 116-114 Minnesota Timberwolves
    Philadelphia 76ers 100-89 Chicago Bulls
    Toronto Raptors 140-111 Washington Wizards
    Memphis Grizzlies 113-109 Cleveland Cavaliers
    Miami Heat 115-108 Oklahoma City Thunder
    Atlanta Hawks 121-120 San Antonio Spurs
    Dallas Mavericks 120-112 Portland Trail Blazers

     

    Lakers at Rockets

    The Los Angeles Lakers (33-8) visit the Houston Rockets (26-14) in a blockbuster clash on Saturday. Lakers star Anthony Davis is questionable for the encounter.

  • If it's harsh, stay the f*** out – Kyrie Irving defends his leadership If it's harsh, stay the f*** out – Kyrie Irving defends his leadership

    Kyrie Irving stands by his criticism of some Brooklyn Nets team-mates and defended his leadership style as he insisted he is not a "f****** a*****e".

    Irving – who joined the Nets as a free agent in the offseason – made headlines this week when he claimed the team had "glaring" needs following a 117-106 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

    However, the 27-year-old, a one-time NBA champion and a six-time All-Star, believes he was right to criticise his team-mates and cites his career achievements as the basis for taking a leadership role.

    "It's probably a tell-tale sign of the career that I've had, some of the moves that I've made individually as well as coming to different environments and organisations," Irving told reporters in a video shared by SNYtv.

    "At the end of the day, it's an entertainment league. We're drama-filled, everything revolves on these media platforms, which is part of society. I can't really do anything about it, except really be a pillar in our locker room and when I'm out there, winning, that's what it comes down to.

    "It's not like I'm a f****** a*****e shouting all of the time in the locker room.

    "I'm going to continue to push, demand greatness from my team-mates and we go from there. If it's harsh as a leader or it's too much for anybody, you're not in our locker room – stay the f*** out, it's as simple as that."


    Irving also insisted he has earned the right to be respected and listened to by his team-mates, as he attempts to propel the Nets towards a championship win.

    "At the end of the day, my name is in a lot of people's mouths all of the time," Irving added.

    "I've earned that respect because of how great I am as a player and there's still more goals I want to accomplish in this league and I can't do it without improving an organisation and winning a championship, and that's what it comes down to."

    The Nets are eighth in the Eastern Conference with an 18-22 record for the season, with pacesetters the Milwaukee Bucks next up on Saturday.

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