Luka Doncic continued his scorching start to the 2022-23 NBA season and matched a record which only two NBA Hall of Famers have recorded.
Doncic scored 33 points in the Dallas Mavericks’ 103-100 win against the Utah Jazz, meaning he’s now scored over 30 points in all seven of his games this season.
In doing so, the 23-year-old became just the third player in NBA history – after Jack Twyman did it once and Wilt Chamberlain did it twice – to score over 30 points in the first seven games of a new season – and the first in almost 60 years.
Previously, four-time NBA MVP Chamberlain had been the last to reach the mark, doing so in 1962-63. Chamberlain achieved it first in 1959-60, in the same season which Twyman did it.
Doncic has regularly rubbed shoulders with the legends of the NBA in the few years he’s been in the NBA, consistently breaking records set by the greats of the game.
And after the victory, he acknowledged the ever-presence of the former San Francisco Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers great.
“I always hear Wilt Chamberlain. He’s always there,” Doncic said afterwards.
Doncic added: “I just wished to play in the NBA. This is really a dream for me.
“I couldn’t be happier just to play basketball and to do my job, and that’s it. I’m just happy to play basketball and when we win games, it’s even better.”
Doncic has some way to go to equal the record of consecutive 30-point games to open a season. Chamberlain holds the record with 23 straight games in 1962-63. He is also second on the list with eight games in 1959-60.
The Slovenian was many people’s favorites for the MVP award this season, and has begun in electrifying fashion, averaging 36.1 points.
Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd praised Doncic after his all-round performance provided the driving force behind Dallas’ victory on Wednesday.
“I think it’s special when you talk about MJ (Michael Jordan) and Wilt,” said Kidd, likening Doncic’s influence at the Mavs as similar to that of the former Chicago Bulls star and that storied team.
“That’s rare air. We get to see that on a nightly basis, so that’s pretty cool. A 23-year-old kid that is playing at this level is really, really kind of special and cool to see.
“He can do it in so many ways when you talk about posting up or getting to the basket or shooting the three or shooting the little step-back.
“It’s really cool to watch and it just shows the focus that he has right now. He’s carrying the team and putting the team in a position to win.”