Tikteknu: today's summary clip in sport, 31.12 (Sport1)
Luka Doncic closed out 2022 with another Pantheon performance, delivering 51 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals over San Antonio.
The Dallas star is in crazy shape, and this is how his last five games in the best league in the world look - all of them, by the way, ended in victories:
51 points (62 percent from the field), 6 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals against San Antonio
35 points (52 percent from the field), 12 rebounds and 13 assists against Houston
60 points (67 percent from the field), 21 rebounds and 10 assists against New York
32 points (56 percent from the field), 9 rebounds and 9 assists against the Lakers
50 points (56 percent from the field), 8 rebounds and 10 assists against Houston
Doncic became the first player in NBA history with at least 225 points, 50 rebounds and 50 assists over five games, joining a particularly prestigious list.
Only seven other players scored 50 or more points in three games before their 25th birthday: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rick Barry, Nate Archibald and Wilt Chamberlain .
The Slovenian finished December with averages of 35.1 points (51.9 percent from the field, 42.2 percent from 3, 75.2 percent from the line), 8.5 rebounds, 9.3 assists and 1.6 steals per game, leading the recovering Dallas to a 4:11 record.
No other player in Mavericks history has averaged 35 or more points per game over an entire month.
Doncic scored 22 of his 51 points in the first quarter and set the tone for another blockbuster offensive performance.
About two hours before the game started, Gregg Popovich said his goal would be to hold Luca under 50 points.
"We did a good team job on him, but he is an amazing player," said the legendary coach of the Spurs.
"His IQ is just extraordinary, he's just unbelievable, just a beautiful basketball player. He's very, very special."
Christian Wood, who helped the Slovenian with 25 points, added: "It's amazing. In my seven years in the league, I've never seen anyone do what he can do. He's in exceptional form, playing like an MVP and I'm happy for him. We compliment each other on the floor and look for each other the other one".
More important than the rare stat lines, Dallas wins while Doncic juggles - the Mavs have won six in a row and are now in fourth place in the West, just three games behind leaders Denver.
"Last season we reached the Western Conference finals," said the star.
"We learned a lot. This year we added some new players and we are starting to bond, I think we are in a better place than where we were at the same point in time last year."
With all due respect to Dallas, the hottest team in the league right now is Brooklyn, who celebrated their 11th straight victory - a comfortable 106:123 over Charlotte, thus ending a year full of ups and downs - mostly downs.
Let's remind, for those who have forgotten: Kyrie Irving refuses to be vaccinated against Corona and misses a bunch of games, James Harden demands a trade and is sent to Philadelphia, a humiliating dismissal from the playoffs, Kevin Durant's demand to leave, Steve Nash's dismissal, Irving's racist storm, and that's about it.
And after all, Brooklyn is here - with 15 wins in their last 16 games, which have moved them into second place in the East, two games behind East leader Boston.
"All these moments brought us together as a team," said Kevin Durant.
"Now you see what we've been trying to do for several years, which is a solid team that plays hard every night. We expect bigger things in 2023."
On November 15, Brooklyn suffered 153 points from Sacramento, and the rumors about the transfer of Durant and Irving in a trade again gained momentum.
But since then, Jacques Vaughan has managed to steady the ship.
"When he came in, we started to take a step forward," said Durant. "That was the turning point for us."
Irving was asked about the influence of the new coach and said: "He gives ease, he behaves exactly the way a leader should behave. He brings out the best in people, and this is a lesson for me, I learned a few things from him."