It wasn’t new shoes or a new haircut. No, it was a headband – and with the new accessory, came great power.
In the Dallas Mavericks’ 50-point blowout of the Utah Jazz, Dončić had a record-breaking game on multiple fronts, despite only playing three quarters.
In the first half of action alone, the Slovenian had 29 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, achieving the highest-scoring, first-half triple-double in NBA history. He also became the first player in league history to rack up a 25-point triple-double before halftime.
With just over a minute remaining in the first half, Dončić was a rebound and assist away from creating history. He grabbed his rebound with 1:11 left before getting his 10th assist 12 seconds later with a pass to Dereck Lively II.
Mavs fans at American Airlines Center followed along with Dončić’s journey towards history on the big screen above the court and loud cheers were let out when he finally reached the mark.
After the game, Dončić admitted that he knew how close he was to a first-half triple-double and was searching for it.
“Yeah, of course. I was going for that. I got to admit,” he said.
It was the 60th triple-double of Dončić’s young career, moving him past NBA icon Larry Bird into sole possession of ninth on the all-time triple-double list.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “I don’t know what to say, honestly. But we all know who Larry Bird was, so it’s pretty special.”
The 24-year-old finished Wednesday’s game with 40 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds as Dallas routed the Jazz.
It was Dončić’s seventh career game with 40+ points, 10+ rebounds and 10+ assists, tying Wilt Chamberlain for fourth most in NBA history.
“Everybody said (the triple-double) was the headband,” Dončić – who explained he wore the headband to keep his longer hair out of his eyes – said. “I say it’s me.”
Dallas head coach Jason Kidd was full of praise for his star guard afterwards.
“I think he’s had a lot of fun this season,” Kidd said of Dončić. “He’s competing, he’s having fun and the energy was extremely high. And I think the headband works.”
The emphatic victory came at a vital time for the Mavericks who had lost five of their last seven games.
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