Exactly 73 points scored by a single player, in one basketball game. Slovenian Luka Doncic wrote his name in the annals of the NBA on Friday, January 26, by achieving this feat during the victory of his club, the Dallas Maveriks, against Atlanta (148-143). In forty-four minutes on the Hawks floor, the 24-year-old leader made 25 shots out of 33 attempts – including 8 out of 13 from distance (3 points), he also made 15 out of 16 free throws.

Luka Doncic equals David Thompson – who had already scored 73 points in a match in 1978 – for the 4th best performance in the history of the North American league. The last time the NBA public saw better was in 2006, on January 22, when Kobe Bryant scored 81 for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Toronto Raptors.

The absolute record is still held by Wilt Chamberlain and his 100 points in 1962 – the pivot had also scored 78 points, the 3rd benchmark in the league the previous year.

An “extra-special” night for an “already special” player hailed Texans coach Jason Kidd. “What he does on the pitch no one else can do,” explained the coach. His ability to take shots, to create them, to find standout teammates, he did all that at a very high level this evening. He’s the game plan. » Luka Doncic established, in December 2022, the previous record for points in a franchise match, with 60 units.

“The goal was just to win.”

On Friday, the Slovenian achieved a rare offensive performance: 73 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists. Without doubt the “finest” of his career, by his own admission.

“We’ve had a hard time lately [three defeats in a row]. The goal was just to win. I pushed, no matter what the opposing defense offered me. In the second half, they were defending with two players against me, so I tried to make a play,” he explained.

Luka Doncic, who arrived across the Atlantic in 2018 (number 3 in the draft) after shining at Real Madrid, has established himself as one of the best players in the NBA. On Thursday, he was selected for his 5th All-Star Game and remains in the running for the title of MVP (most valuable player) of the season.

But he is not the only one to have impressed in recent days. This January 26, American Devin Booker scored 62 points for the Phoenix Suns, which did not, however, prevent his team’s defeat against the Indiana Pacers (133-131). Joel Embiid, 2023 MVP, scored 70 points for Philadelphia against the San Antonio Spurs and Karl-Anthony Towns scored 62 points for the Minnesota Timberwolves last Monday. That night marked only the fourth time in NBA history, and the first in over forty-five years, that two players scored at least 60 points in the same day.