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."

Luka Doncic's sensational numbers in the Dallas Mavericks' 127-123 beating of the Sacramento Kings were "hard to fathom" for gleeful head coach Rick Carlisle.

The Mavericks won a third straight game with Doncic finishing with a stunning triple-double of 25 points, 15 rebounds and 17 assists.

In doing so, Doncic became the youngest player in NBA history to post a triple-double consisting of at least 15 rebounds and assists.

Doncic's display earned effusive praise from coach Carlisle, who said: "These numbers are just crazy. It's hard to fathom. 

"They're trapping him all over the court every time down. He's both beating the traps and playing beautifully out of the traps."

Doncic really came to life in the third quarter where he put up 11 points and six rebounds.

Even more impressively, Doncic made his triple-double despite going 0-5 from beyond the arc, a statistic that left the Slovenian insisting he can play better.

"Obviously, not as good as I can play. I have to practice those threes," Doncic said. 

"They were doubling me every time, and I like it. Basketball is five players so somebody's going to be open if they double me."

Doncic's night started in inauspicious fashion with a wayward pass that found its way into the stands.

The 20-year-old was able to see the funny side of things.

"It was a bad pass," he added. "I was laughing. He was open. I should have hit him. That was a very bad pass."

Luka Doncic made NBA history during the Dallas Mavericks' 127-123 win over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old dominated with 25 points, 17 assists and 15 rebounds as the Mavericks improved to 26-15.

Doncic became the youngest player in NBA history to post a triple-double with at least 15 rebounds and 15 assists.

The Slovenian is enjoying a brilliant season to be among the NBA MVP contenders.

Doncic was averaging 28.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 8.8 assists heading into the clash with the Kings.

Luka Doncic felt like "I don't know how to play basketball" during the Dallas Mavericks' loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, which saw him rip his jersey in frustration after missing a free throw.

The Mavericks fell to a 129-114 defeat to the Lakers at the American Airlines Travel Center on Friday.

Doncic had a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds to go with seven assists, though he did turn the ball over six times.

However, his anger at what he believed to be a sub-par performance boiled over in the second quarter when he was unable to convert from the line.

"I played very bad. I felt like I don't know how to play basketball. I've got to get better - a lot," Doncic said afterwards.

"I'm competitive, and like I say, I've got to get better at a lot of points. A lot better.

"I know I can get better. There's a lot of things. I'm 20 years old. I've got a lot of things that I can do better, I can learn better. So I'll get better."

Coach Rick Carlisle, who was ejected from the game for berating the officials for allowing a Lakers timeout from an out-of-bounds play, after the Mavericks had already inbounded the ball, had plenty of sympathy for Doncic.

"He is a guy that wants to win, and he gets frustrated," Carlisle said. "Those are emotions and feelings that are about winning and losing, and so I get it. I get it.

"He's going through a lot this year. He's going through just a lot of different situations - some phenomenal performances and other nights where people are just taking physical liberties on him and beating the s*** out of him.

"He's learning how to deal with all that stuff, but it's not easy.

"You know, when I was 20 years old, I was walking around as a freshman at the University of Maine. I didn't know whether to s*** or wind my wristwatch. And this guy is a second-year player, and he's going to be a starter in the All-Star Game.

"I think we've got to understand that he's still young. He's mature beyond his years in terms of how he sees the game and his skill set and how he can do things out on the floor, but we're going through a rough stretch right now. Everybody needs to try to keep their emotions in check."

The Zone Blitz team analyzes two of the NBA's hottest players LA Lakers Anthony Davis and Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic.

Luka Doncic may have recorded his 11th triple-double of the season on Monday, yet the Dallas Mavericks sensation insisted he is paying little attention to his historic numbers.

The 20-year-old had 38 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists as the Mavs improved to 23-13 with a 118-110 win over the Chicago Bulls.

It was the ninth time this season Doncic had made a 30-point triple-double, more than the rest of the NBA combined, with LeBron James (three) the only other player to have achieved that feat on multiple occasions.

Unlike his last triple-double - which came in a losing cause against the Charlotte Hornets - Doncic's heroics came in a victory, which was the most important thing to the Slovenian.

"I don't know what to tell you, man," he told reporters. "It's just stats, you know. Every game is another stat.

"For me, I always say it's more important to get a win."

It was the 19th triple-double of Doncic's career, by far the most ever of any NBA player under the age of 21.

The great Magic Johnson is next on the list with seven, while James had five.

"The rare thing about Luka is he's doing this at 20," added Tim Hardaway Jr, who had 15 points in Dallas' win.

"I haven't really seen any 20-year-old be this effective on both ends of the floor."

Doncic's brilliance was also appreciated by Bulls coach Jim Boylen, who described him as being built like an NFL player.

"He uses his physical size – he's like a linebacker handling the basketball,” Boylen said in quotes published on the Mavs' website.

“Then you add that with the skill level. He has unbelievable skill level.

"The step-back going left, the forceful drives going right.

"That combination of size, strength, skill level and decision-making makes him a special player."

The NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks defeated the San Antonio Spurs 127-118 for their 32nd win of the season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo posted a game-high 32 points as the high-flying Bucks improved to 32-5 on Saturday.

Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo scored 19 of his points in the third quarter to fuel Milwaukee's fifth successive win since a Christmas Day loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs (14-20) with 26 points on the road in Milwaukee.

Meanwhile, Luka Doncic's NBA-leading 10th triple-double of the season was not enough to stop the Dallas Mavericks from falling 123-120 to the Charlotte Hornets in overtime.

Doncic had 39 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the Mavericks, who succumbed to Terry Rozier's go-ahead shot from range in OT.

Rozier finished with 29 points as the Hornets erased a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

 

Young sees Hawks soar

Trae Young's 41 points powered the struggling Atlanta Hawks past the Indiana Pacers 116-111.

Jae Crowder (27 points), Jaren Jackson Jr. (24), Ja Morant (22) and Dillon Brooks (22) starred as the Memphis Grizzlies crushed the Paul George-less Los Angeles Clippers 140-114 in LA.

Double-doubles from Fred VanVleet (29 points, 11 assists) and Serge Ibaka (21 points, 12 rebounds), and Kyle Lowry's 26 points guided the Toronto Raptors to a 121-102 win at the Brooklyn Nets.

The Utah Jazz topped the Orlando Magic 109-96 thanks to Donovan Mitchell's 32 points on the road.

Jamal Murray put up 39 points in the Denver Nuggets' 128-114 defeat away to the Washington Wizards.

 

Aldridge goes cold

LaMarcus Aldridge scored all 16 of his points in the first half, with the Spurs big man 0 of seven from the field in 15 second-half minutes.

 

Carter makes history

Hawks veteran Vince Carter, 42, received a standing ovation after he became the first NBA player in history to feature in four different decades.

 

Saturday's results

Memphis Grizzlies 140-114 Los Angeles Clippers
Toronto Raptors 121-102 Brooklyn Nets
Utah Jazz 109-96 Orlando Magic
Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106 Cleveland Cavaliers
Atlanta Hawks 116-111 Indiana Pacers
Boston Celtics 111-104 Chicago Bulls
Washington Wizards 128-124 Denver Nuggets
Detroit Pistons 111-104 Golden State Warriors
Milwaukee Bucks 127-118 San Antonio Spurs
Charlotte Hornets 123-120 Dallas Mavericks (OT)
New Orleans Pelicans 117-115 Sacramento Kings

 

Pistons at Lakers

The Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers (28-7) will welcome the Pistons (13-23) to Staples Center on Sunday. The Lakers have won four straight, while the Pistons are eyeing back-to-back victories.

The evolving world of sport means a new decade is likely to see widespread change.

With superstars like Lionel Messi, LeBron James, Roger Federer and Lewis Hamilton unlikely to be plying their trades in 2030, the stage is set for new names to come to the fore.

Omnisport's team of writers have tipped 20 20-year-olds to do just that over the next 10 years.

 

Men's football: Joao Felix

A €126m move from Benfica to Atletico Madrid made Joao Felix the second most expensive teenager in football history. His career in LaLiga is yet to truly ignite but the forward's lavish gifts are beyond doubt as he faces up to the decade when Cristiano Ronaldo will leave the stage for their native Portugal. Joao Felix is the anointed heir.

Basketball: Luka Doncic

The 2018 EuroLeague MVP and 2019 NBA Rookie of the Year, Doncic's incredible rise has continued unchecked this season – he is averaging 28.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 9.0 assists for the Dallas Mavericks. He should earn a first All-Star appearance this season and make his bow in the playoffs, where you would expect to see him featuring regularly in the coming years.

Cricket: Prithvi Shaw

Opening batsman Shaw became the youngest Indian to score a Test hundred on debut in 2018 and followed that up with a half-century in his second appearance. However, last year was one to forget for Shaw, who had injury problems before serving a six-month doping ban having taken a substance typically found in cough syrups. A first-class double hundred last month suggests he is ready to make up for lost time.

Tennis: Marketa Vondrousova

Although she was unable to win a title on the WTA Tour in 2019, Vondrousova was the runner-up at the French Open – one of three final appearances last year – and having risen to 16th in the world rankings she looks set to break the top 10 soon. The Czech's unorthodox playing style and penchant for drop shots makes her a particularly entertaining watch.

Formula One: Lando Norris

Norris enjoyed an excellent debut season in Formula One, helping McLaren to an impressive fourth place in the constructors' championship. After landing three straight points finishes to end the year, he carries momentum into 2020 and looks capable of challenging Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen over the next 10 years.

UFC: Chase Hooper

Featherweight Hooper was awarded a development deal after winning the second season of Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series in 2018 and is the youngest fighter on the UFC roster. He improved his unbeaten mixed martial arts record to 8-0-1 by stopping David Teymur in the first round of a thoroughly impressive UFC debut in December.

American football: Trevor Lawrence

The NFL is blessed with talented young quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson, but the potential star of the 2020s will not enter the league until 2021 at the earliest. Clemson's Lawrence possess the size, skill and nerve to succeed at the next level. He is still yet to lose a game in college and is one win away from back-to-back National Championships.

Sport climbing: Janja Garnbret

Sport climbing will make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 and Garnbret is a favourite for success. She successfully defended her bouldering and combined titles at last year's world championships and added gold in the lead discipline. The Slovenian's tally of 14 International Federation of Sport Climbing titles is unprecedented.

Rugby league: Tom Flegler

Front-rower Flegler enjoyed a hugely promising breakthrough year with Brisbane Broncos in 2019, featuring 23 times in his maiden campaign. He has reportedly knocked back a host of lucrative offers to remain with Brisbane in 2020 and will now aim to make an even bigger impact.

Women's football: Georgia Stanway

Vastly experienced for her age, Stanway joined Manchester City from Blackburn Rovers and made her Women's Super League debut at 16 in 2015. She won her second FA Cup with a goalscoring player-of-the-match display as City beat West Ham 3-0 in 2019's Wembley final and was the youngest member of an England squad Phil Neville led to the World Cup semi-finals. If the Lionesses are to take the next step over the coming decade, expect Stanway to play a vital role.

Rugby union: Marcus Smith

Harlequins fly-half Smith is knocking on the door for full England selection after an impressive first two years of his club career. He was man of the match in last July's win over Barbarians, which fans of Eddie Jones' side will hope is a sign of things to come over the next decade.

Golf: Matthew Wolff

The PGA Tour welcomed a host of talented rookies in 2019, but Wolff may just be the best of the bunch. A standout college player with an unorthodox swing that generates enormous power, he won last July's 3M Open in only his third professional start.

MotoGP: Fabio Quartararo

After Jorge Lorenzo, the only man to defeat Marc Marquez in a MotoGP world championship, retired, and with Valentino Rossi nearing the end of his career, fans are looking to the next generation. That group looks set to be led by Quartararo, who will ride a factory-spec Yamaha for 2020 after claiming six pole positions and seven podiums in a magnificent rookie season.

Golf: Nasa Hataoka

Already fifth in the women's world rankings, Hataoka has claimed three LPGA Tour titles in the past 18 months, after becoming the first amateur to win a major on the Japan LPGA Tour back in 2016.

Baseball: Vladimir Guerrero Jnr

Guerrero has a lot to live up to but has already shown enough to suggest he may follow his father into baseball's Hall of Fame. Having signed for the Toronto Blue Jays as a free agent in 2015, Guerrero served his time in the minors before making his debut in the Major Leagues last April. He spent the rest of his maiden season displaying the kind of power that has marked him out as a star of the future, hitting .272, mashing 15 home runs and knocking in 69 RBI. By the end of the next decade, his may well be the face of baseball.

Ice Hockey: Quinn Hughes

Hughes, who could not even debut for the Vancouver Canucks until he recovered from an ankle injury in March, is an elite defenseman who also sat top of the rookie assist chart in late December.

Swimming: Michael Andrew

This year is an Olympic one and for the first time since the 1996 Games, Michael Phelps will not be in the pool. The United States needs a new swimming hero, and the hope is that Phelps' namesake can be the next star. Andrew was the youngest US swimmer to ever turn professional when he did so at 14 and, having finished fourth in the 50 metres butterfly at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships, he appears primed to be a breakout star in Tokyo.

Tennis: Denis Shapovalov

Shapovalov finished 2019 at a career-high ATP ranking of 15th, having won his first title in Stockholm. Expect his threat at the 2020 majors to be very real.

Athletics: Sydney McLaughlin

At the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, gold in the 4x400 metres relay followed silver in the 400m hurdles for McLaughlin. Only a Dalilah Muhammad world record was enough to deny her the victory.

Boxing: Joseph Adorno

Currently plying his trade in the lightweight division, Adorno was brought up in Puerto Rico and his thunderous left hook has drawn comparisons to Miguel Cotto – the great four-weight world champion hailing from that boxing-mad island. Promoters Top Rank will look to step up Adorno's level of opposition in 2020, although anyone climbing into the corner opposite a young man boasting a 14-0 record with 12 knockouts should make sure they get well paid.

LeBron James bested Luka Doncic as the Los Angeles Lakers eased to a 108-95 win over the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA.

Two MVP candidates went head-to-head at Staples Center on Sunday and Lakers superstar James emerged on top after making history on his way to a double-double of 13 points and 13 assists.

One day out from his 35th birthday, the three-time NBA champion became the ninth player in history to reach 9,000 assists and the first to do it with a minimum of 9,000 rebounds.

Doncic, making his 100th appearance in the league, needed treatment after a heavy fall in the first quarter, although he still led the Mavs with 19 points and seven assists.

Dallas (21-11) are now four and a half games adrift of the Western Conference-leading Lakers (26-7) and two games behind the second-placed Denver Nuggets, who prevailed 120-115 against the Sacramento Kings.

Nikola Jokic made a clutch fadeaway jumper in the fourth quarter and finished with 17 points, while Will Barton and first-time starter Michael Porter Jr had 19 apiece for the Nuggets (23-9).

 

Lonzo leads Pelicans past Rockets

Lonzo Ball starred in James Harden's absence as the New Orleans Pelicans topped the Houston Rockets 127-112 to notch a fourth consecutive victory. Rockets guard Harden joined Russell Westbrook on the sideline due to a toe problem and Ball – the former number two draft pick – took advantage with 27 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander consigned defending champions the Toronto Raptors to a third loss in four games, his 32 points, plus 25 and 11 rebounds from Chris Paul, lifting the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 98-97 triumph at Scotiabank Arena.

Dillon Brooks went eight of 13 from the floor for 20 points as the Memphis Grizzlies overcame the Charlotte Hornets 117-104.

 

Rivers dries up

The Rockets needed scoring production from elsewhere with star pair Harden and Westbrook unavailable, but Austin Rivers struggled to step up against the Pelicans. The 27-year-old guard managed nine points and five assists in 29 minutes, hitting one of four three-point attempts and just two of seven from the floor.

 

Jokic shows off skills

Denver big man Jokic showcased his slick handles with two brilliant behind-the-back dribbles in the Nuggets' five-point win against the Kings.

 

Sunday's results

Oklahoma City Thunder 98-97 Toronto Raptors
Memphis Grizzlies 117-104 Charlotte Hornets
New Orleans Pelicans 127-112 Houston Rockets
Denver Nuggets 120-115 Sacramento Kings
Los Angeles Lakers 108-95 Dallas Mavericks

 

Bucks at Bulls

The Milwaukee Bucks (29-5) will hope Giannis Antetokounmpo can overcome back soreness in time for Monday's trip to the improving Chicago Bulls (13-20).

Luka Doncic may have enhanced his MVP credentials with another brilliant display at the Golden State Warriors, but the Dallas Mavericks star does not believe he is at Stephen Curry's level yet.

The 20-year-old had his ninth triple-double of the season in the Mavs' 141-121 victory over the Curry-less Warriors, Doncic scoring 31 points while claiming 12 rebounds and 15 assists.

Dallas broke a franchise record by making 24 three-pointers, with Doncic sinking five of his eight attempts - a stat that surely would have impressed two-time MVP Curry, who remains sidelined with a hand injury.

Should Doncic's form continue, he may be named himself MVP himself, though the Slovenian feels comparisons with Curry are unfair at this stage.

"He's shooting way better than me," Doncic said, as quoted by ESPN.

"He's a better player. He's been in the league a long time, he's somebody that everybody looks up [to], everybody wants to play like him.

"I remember last year after the draft, I practiced once with him and it was crazy. He couldn't miss. He can't miss. And that was like something I'll always remember, practice with him."

Dallas' coach Rick Carlisle is in no doubt over Doncic's importance, though, pointing out how he led the way on a night when the Mavericks improved to 21-10.

"Doncic was amazing tonight, absolutely amazing," Carlisle added.

"[He had] a 30-point triple-double in three quarters, and really made it look easy.

"That's a phenomenal performance and he set the table for everybody that was out there."

Luka Doncic shone on his comeback from injury and Gregg Popovich likened the Dallas Mavericks star to NBA great Magic Johnson.

After sitting out four games with an ankle problem, Doncic marked his return to the floor with 24 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as the Mavs beat the San Antonio Spurs 102-98 on Thursday.

Spurs coach Popovich branded the Slovenian – who had a 42-point triple-double when the teams last met – a "beast" in a TV interview after he scored half of Dallas' 20 first-quarter points.

The five-time NBA championship-winning coach was even more effusive in his praise at the conclusion of the game.

"I hate to say this: he's not Magic Johnson, but it's Magic Johnson-like in the sense that he sees the floor in that same way," said Popovich.

"He's got a real intuitive sense, and you can't teach that. He's just got it and he's great at it.

"I'm not trying to put the Magic Johnson pressure on him – he's not ready for that yet – but he's doing a hell of a job."

After missing out on All-Star selection in his rookie season, Doncic said he hopes to make the grade this time around. However, he is focused on getting back up to speed after experiencing fatigue towards the end of his 33 minutes on the floor.

"I'm not going to lie I was pretty tired going to the end of the game," said Doncic.

"It's difficult when you're out like four or five games, you've gotta catch up and [I'm] just gonna get better.

"[The ankle is] good. I'm gonna keep icing it and the bandage on it – it's good.

"I just want to play, I don't want to miss any games. But I got some rest too and I'll just keep going."

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic will make his return from injury against the San Antonio Spurs on Boxing Day.

Doncic has been sidelined with a sprained right ankle, the reigning Rookie of the Year missing the Mavericks' past four NBA games.

The Mavericks guard injured his ankle after stepping on the foot of the Miami Heat's Kendrick Nunn on December 14.

However, Doncic will make his comeback against the Spurs in Dallas.

Doncic has averaged 29.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game for the Mavericks (19-10) this season.

Meanwhile, Slovenia's Doncic has agreed to a footwear deal with the Jordan Brand.

After months of speculation, Doncic – a sneaker free agent – opted for the Jordan Brand, a subsidiary of Nike.

"It is exciting to join such a talented roster and being given the privilege of defining the next generation of the Jordan Brand," said Doncic.

"Michael Jordan was a hero of mine growing up, so being able to represent this iconic brand, especially as a kid from Slovenia, is an honour."

Chicago Bulls great and NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan added: "Luka is a phenomenal player, and at such a young age. He's demonstrating skill it takes many guys years to develop. It will be incredible to watch him continue to advance in the league.

"We are excited to welcome him to the Jordan Brand family. He rounds out a roster of incredible new talent united to represent Jordan Brand for the next generation."

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic will miss Monday's clash against the Milwaukee Bucks due to an ankle injury.

Doncic sprained his right ankle during the Mavs' 122-118 overtime loss to the Miami Heat on Saturday.

An NBA MVP contender this season, the 20-year-old was set to face fellow star Giannis Antetokounmpo when the Mavericks visit the Bucks.

However, he was ruled out on Sunday, with the Mavs writing on Twitter: "#Mavericks guard Luka Doncic suffered a right ankle sprain in the first quarter of last night's game against Miami.

"Doncic will not travel with the team to Milwaukee for Monday night's game against the first-place Bucks."

The Mavericks are 17-8 and sit third in the Western Conference, but Doncic's absence is a huge blow.

Doncic is enjoying a stellar season, averaging 29.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game.

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle does not expect Luka Doncic to play against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday after suffering a right ankle sprain in their overtime defeat to the Miami Heat on Saturday.

Doncic played fewer than two minutes of the Mavericks' 122-118 loss to the Heat, which dropped them to a record of 17-8.

The Slovenian is enjoying a breakout second season that has him in the Most Valuable Player discussion. Doncic is averaging 29.3 points per game to go with 8.9 assists and 9.6 rebounds. 

However, he is now unlikely to square off against reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo when the Mavericks visit the Bucks, who lead the Eastern Conference after compiling 18 straight wins.

Speaking in a media conference, Carlisle said: "Luka has a right ankle sprain, we hope it's not serious, X-rays were negative."

The Mavericks trailed 73-50 at half-time but produced a stirring second-half fightback to force the extra five-minute period.

Asked what he said to his team in the interval with Doncic sidelined, Carlisle replied: "Don't have to say much, guys knew we were getting outplayed and outworked and we turned it around in the second half.

"We needed to make one more play or have one more ball bounce our way or get one more call.

"It's disappointing [Doncic's injury] but, next man up. Obviously we lose a guy that's a great player, we don't know for how long, and I don't expect him to play against Milwaukee, that's just an opinion that's not a media release or anything like that, but we've got to circle the wagons with the guys that we have and play like we did in the second half, pretty simple. "

Luka Doncic won effusive praise from coach Rick Carlisle after starring in the Dallas Mavericks' 122-111 win over the Detroit Pistons.

The 20-year-old had a triple-double of 41 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in an NBA clash staged in Mexico City.

Doncic won over the crowd after the Slovenian addressed them in Spanish ahead of Thursday's match, then lit up the arena with a stellar display.

"Doncic was spectacular," Carlisle said in quotes reported by the Mavericks' official website. 

"I thought [Kristaps] Porzingis was great. Seth Curry off the bench was a microwave. That means when you dial it and push the button, it gets hot real fast."

Carlisle was particularly pleased the fans were treated to Doncic at his best.

"This is getting routine. He's doing this a lot," he said. 

"I'm happy for him and I'm happy for the people of Mexico City to be able to see a performance like this. It was a great individual performance.

"But I also liked the way he moved the ball and stayed within the team. He's a great individual talent, but he knows how to play with his team-mates.

"Some of his lob passes to Porzingis were breathtaking, spectacular."

The win moved the Mavericks to 17-7, third in the Western Conference.

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