Luka Doncic quipped he feels like he is 40 years old after he celebrated his 25th birthday in style.

Doncic became the first player in NBA history to finish with a triple-double on their birthday as he led the Dallas Mavericks to a 136-125 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.

He finished with 30 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds for his 11th triple-double of the season.

Doncic has now had 39 30-point triple-doubles, which sees him surpass LeBron James in the all-time list for that feat.

When asked if he considered his 25th birthday as a milestone, Doncic joked: "I feel like [I'm] 40, so no."

Doncic was 11 for 23 from the field and missed 7 of 8 from 3-point range in his 67th career triple-double.

"Just a normal game, triple-double," Jason Kidd said.

"He was really good. I guess 25 means he's still going to be really good as he gets older here."

Kyrie Irving scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and P.J. Washington Jr. added 23 points for Dallas, as they bounced back from back-to-back defeats.

"Kyrie and Luka, they had such a poise in important moments to make the right plays," said Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic after his team saw a three-game winning streak snapped.

Doncic added: "We just played aggressive on defense, got out on transition, that's it. 

"My team knows when I'm engaged. Everybody helps everyone to be engaged.

"I'm having so much fun. Back-to-back is always tough, a great win today, I've got to get some rest now."

Mykhailo Mudryk is "the most talented and unique player in the world", and patient work on the training ground will see Chelsea get the best out of the winger.

That is the view of Serhiy Palkin, Shakhtar Donetsk's chief executive who struck the £89million deal which took Mudryk from Ukraine to Stamford Bridge last January.

Like many of the big-money recruits of the Todd Boehly era, Mudryk has struggled for consistency since arriving in west London, after emerging as one of Europe's hottest prospects at Shakhtar.

Between the start of 2021-22 and his move to the Premier League, Mudryk averaged a goal involvement every 70 minutes in the Ukrainian top flight, scoring nine goals and adding 13 assists in just 23 appearances during that spell.

However, Mudryk has just three goals and four assists to his name in 34 Premier League appearances, and he attracted more criticism for an ineffective substitute appearance in Sunday's EFL Cup final defeat to Liverpool.

Palkin, however, remains convinced of the 23-year-old's talent and feels he simply needs close attention from Mauricio Pochettino and his backroom staff. 

"I can tell you that for me, Mudryk is the most talented and unique player in the world," Palkin told Stats Perform.

"I believe that in order to get from Mudryk the maximum, as they anticipate, you need to invest in him. These investments are not money. 

"It's time for the coaching staff to communicate with him and to work closely with him. He is a young boy, he changed from the Ukrainian Championship to the Premier League. 

"It's a completely different world, with completely different levels, completely different football. 

"Therefore, I believe that if the coaching staff dedicates him some time, he will return three, four, or five times more."

One former Shakhtar man who made a far more immediate impact in the Premier League is Roberto De Zerbi, who led Brighton and Hove Albion to Europa League qualification last term while implementing a daring style of play. 

The Seagulls are in the hunt for European qualification again this season, and they rank second in the Premier League for average passes per sequence (5.01), third for build-up attacks (127) and joint-first for high turnovers resulting in goals (seven).

After overseeing Brighton's dramatic rise, De Zerbi has been tipped to move on to pastures new, with both Barcelona and Liverpool suggested as possible landing spots for the Italian.

Palkin has no doubt De Zerbi is destined for the top, saying: "I can tell you that he did a lot for Brighton, he did brilliant work for Brighton. 

"I believe 100 per cent that he can jump into a top club tomorrow, even today, 100 per cent. The most important thing is he must accept the proposition.

"I believe he has a lot of propositions, including in Italian football and English football. Therefore, everything, everything, everything depends on him."

Victor Wembanyama wants victories, not individual feats, after he joined Michael Jordan in the NBA record books.

Wembanyama became just the second NBA rookie, after Jamaal Tinsley in 2001, to post at least five points, five rebounds, five assists, five steals and five blocks in a single game. He is just the second player to have five blocks and as many steals in successive games, after the great Jordan.

However, his efforts proved fruitless for the San Antonio Spurs, who lost 113-108 to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.

Wembanyama finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, five steals and five blocks. He is just the 15th player in the NBA to record a 5x5.

But for the overall number one draft pick, wins are the priority.

"To me, it's secondary," Wembanyama said. "Hopefully in the future, and think this is a good performance, but as of today, I can't be satisfied with a loss."

LeBron James returned from injury to score 30 points for the Lakers, while Anthony Davis had 28 points and 13 rebounds.

"Of course it was challenging [going against] one of the best duos in the league," Wembanyama said of facing two of the NBA's star players.

"But still, I think it's a lot of teams we beat if we play this way.

"But I think it came down to maturity at the end because each and every one of us was making a mistake each of the times.

"Little mistakes, missing a layup, turning the ball over. We went down, we went back to down four, down seven multiple times and that's when we did mistakes. So yeah, it's maturity."

Even though the Spurs have lost 10 of their last 11 games, James believes the sky truly is the limit for Wembanyama.

"He doesn't have a ceiling," James said.

"He can do whatever he wants to do with his career. It seems like he enjoys the game. It seems like he puts in the work. Just from the outside looking in, I'm not with him on a day-to-day basis, but I said a long time ago how special he was, and it's literally that simple.

"There are guys in our league that you have to account for any time you get around the rim or around the perimeter in our league history, and he sits right at the top of it, [if not] around the top, with all the greats.

"He's one of them to have like a stellar rookie season. Guys that have come in and [dominated]. But, it's, can you sustain it? We've had guys that have come in and [have] just been really damn [good]."

The Lakers returned to winning ways following their loss to the Golden State Warriors, but coach Darvin Ham was not entirely satisfied with the performance.

"You want your team to constantly look within and try to make plays and force the other team to put you in uncomfortable positions," Ham said.

"Not you put yourself in those uncomfortable positions, whether it's not sprinting back in transition or allowing teams to get two or three offensive rebounds. Or, you know, fouling because we're not in position because we're not doing our work early. And then going down the other end and not trusting the execution.

"We've got a bunch of weapons, but they're useless if we don't do the little things, sprinting hard when we get the ball in transition, not turning it over, maintaining spacing, making sure we get hits on screens to create an advantage and making the simple, easy play."

Marcos Llorente and Angel Correa both scored twice as Atletico Madrid thrashed Las Palmas in a huge 5-0 home win to get back on track in LaLiga.

Javi Munoz hit the woodwork for the visitors early on, but Diego Simeone's men soon assumed full control when Llorente scored twice in a five-minute span to put them two goals up inside 20 minutes.

Atletico ensured they warmed up for Tuesday's Champions League last-16 first leg against Inter in style when Correa struck 73 seconds into the second half, before doubling his tally from the penalty spot just after the hour mark. Substitute Memphis Depay then put the icing on the cake with a late long-range strike.

The hosts were beaten by Sevilla in their last league match and had suffered an away loss to Las Palmas in November's reverse fixture, but they have now won four in a row at home and sit five points clear of fifth-placed Athletic Bilbao and level with Barcelona, who face Celta Vigo later on Saturday.

Data Debrief: Home dominance continues

Atletico are unbeaten at home in La Liga this season, with 12 wins and one draw from their 13 league matches in front of their own fans. Looking further back, they have now gone 24 such games without defeat dating back to January 2023.

Llorente's double was his first since scoring twice in a match against Eibar in April 2021, while Correa – who also registered an assist – had not scored in more than two months prior to this fixture. Atleti were worthy winners, accumulating 2.29 xG to Las Palmas' 0.59.

Toronto Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic said teams must learn how to get to grips with Victor Wembanyama after the number one draft pick excelled in a win for the San Antonio Spurs.

The Spurs ran out 122-99 winners over the Raptors on Monday.

Wembanyama starred with a triple-double, entering the NBA record books in the process.

With a triple-double of 27 points, 14 rebounds, 10 blocks and five assists.

The 20-year-old became just the fifth player to record a triple-double that includes 25 points, 10 rebounds, 10 blocks and five assists since 1973-74, when blocks became an official statistic.

Wembanyama joined Hakeem Olajuwon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David Robinson and Ralph Sampson on that exclusive list, and Raptors boss Rajakovic believes teams will have to adapt to the rookie's stature in skill in the years to come.

"Wembanyama is the player who's going to play in this league for the next 15 years. We need to figure out how to attack and how to play against him," Rajakovic said.

"Definitely a player who's unique with his size and shot-blocking ability. We've got to do a much better job of figuring out how to play against that."

"I felt great today," Wembanyama said after becoming the fourth San Antonio player to record 10 blocks in a game. 

"Great rhythm, started the game strong. I guess it's just the NBA, you know. We've got ups and downs in terms of shape, and today was an up day."

"He did a little bit of everything," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Wembanyama, who leads the league in blocked shots, and is now the first rookie with 150 blocks, 150 assists and 50 steals in a season since Tim Duncan in 1997-98.

"Obviously he's an all-around, talented player. He's got a great feel for the game and it shows in a variety of ways, whether it's passing or making decisions, blocking shots."

Qatar retained the Asian Cup title as Akram Afif scored a hat-trick of penalties to seal a 3-1 win over Jordan in Saturday's final.

Afif kept his cool three times from 12 yards at Lusail Stadium, completing his first international hat-trick, and becoming the first player to score one in the final of an Asian Cup.

Yazan Al Naimat had brilliantly dragged maiden finalists Jordan level, cancelling out the first of Afif's spot-kicks, in the 67th minute.

Yet with the help of VAR, referee Ming Na rightly awarded a further two penalties the hosts' way, with Afif's composure ensuring Qatar became the first team since Japan in 2004 to win successive Asian Cup titles.

 

Almoez Ali was Qatar's hero as the Asian Cup hosts and holders overcame Iran 3-2 in thrilling fashion to set up a final against Jordan.

Ali – the leading scorer at the 2019 Asian Cup – showed great composure and technique to settle Wednesday's chaotic semi-final at Al Thumama Stadium in Qatar's favour.

Qatar's winner came after Alireza Jahanbakhsh, fresh from scoring a last-minute spot-kick in the quarters, slammed a penalty down the middle to drag Iran level after Akram Afif's brilliant strike had put the hosts ahead before the break.

Sardar Azmoun's early stunner had been cancelled out by Jassem Gaber's deflected effort, with Iran – whose frustrations were compounded when Shoja Khalilzadeh was sent off late on –  having squandered a glut of opportunities to retake the lead prior to Ali's winner, while Jahanbakhsh went agonisingly close to forcing extra time when he struck the post in a frantic finale.

Jordan reached the Asian Cup final for the first time in their history thanks to a richly deserved 2-0 win over South Korea in Qatar.

Second-half strikes from Yazan Al Naimat and Mousa Al-Taamari ended the hopes of Son Heung-min and his team-mates at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium on Tuesday.

Jordan had dominated from the off, with near misses from Hwang In-beom and Lee Jae-sung – and a penalty that was rightly overturned after a VAR check – all that pre-tournament favourites South Korea mustered. Son did not even have a shot.

Al Naimat and Al-Taamari's quality shone through, and Jordan, who were backed by a vociferous support, will now face Iran or the holders and hosts Qatar in Saturday's final.

Russell Westbrook is "so grateful" to be on the Los Angeles Clippers team after he tallied up 25,000 NBA points.

Westbrook became the fourth active player in the NBA, and the 25th player overall, to hit the 25,000 milestone when he nailed a running layup with 2:44 left during Friday's 136-125 win over the Detroit Pistons.

LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Clippers teammate Harden are the other active players to have passed the landmark.

Westbrook, meanwhile, is just the second player in NBA history with 25,000 points, 8,000 rebounds and 8,000 assists, after James.

"I'm so grateful to be on this team," said Westbrook, who finished with 23 points. "I don't take any of this for granted."

"Thanks to God man, for allowing me to play the game I love, and be grateful for that. It's a blessing.

"Grateful to be able to play the game of basketball and use my platform to be able to share, impact and inspire people."

Westbrook's basket sparked jubilant celebrations on the Clippers' bench.

"It's a fun group," he added. "We've got good guys, we all hang out, all have fun.

"To see the love and support here from the coaches and my teammates, I'm super grateful for that."

Jaden led the Pistons with 28 points, and he had nothing but praise for Westbrook.

"I actually got to work out with Russ before the start of my rookie year," Ivey said.

"He gave me a lot of advice. He's just a great, humble dude. He took me under his wing a little bit."

The Clippers trailed by 14 points in the first quarter, but clicked through the gears as the game wore on, with Kawhi Leonard (33 points) leading the way.

They’re a tough young team, especially at home," said Westbrook. "We had to figure out how to play the right way, using our effort and energy to close out the game."

Pistons coach Monty Williams was frustrated with his team's sloppiness, however.

"You can't have turnovers and some of the undisciplined errors we had against a team like that," said Williams.

"It's something that has hurt us all season long. When we take care of [the ball], we have a better chance of success."

The Clippers are third in the Western Conference with a 32-15 record, while the Pistons remain rooted to the bottom of the East with the league's worst record (6-42).

A day after Jurgen Klopp's shock announcement of his impending departure from Liverpool, it was revealed another European heavyweight would need a new coach for next season.

Following a humbling 3-5 defeat to LaLiga strugglers Villarreal on Saturday, Xavi confirmed he would be quitting his post at Barcelona at the end of the campaign.

Xavi's decision came just four months after he agreed to extend his contract with the Blaugrana until 2025.

While Xavi has pointed to media criticism and Barca's financial struggles as the reasons for walking away, his team - the reigning LaLiga champions - have slipped off dramatically this season.

In recent weeks, Barca have been hammered by Real Madrid in the final of the Supercopa de Espana, and lost to Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey, while their hopes of retaining the league title are growing increasingly slim.

But where has it all gone wrong? 

2022-23: Two trophies but European failure

After a second-placed finish in 2021-22, Barca recruited heavily for Xavi's first full season in charge, despite their financial difficulties, as they looked to usher in success in the post-Lionel Messi era.

Robert Lewandowski arrived from Bayern Munich, with Barca spending €45million on a soon-to-be 34-year-old to rejuvenate their attack. Raphinha and Joules Kounde also signed in big-money moves, with Andreas Christensen, Hector Bellerin, Marcos Alonso and Franck Kessie joining on free transfers.

Ultimately, their business paid off. Barca won LaLiga at a canter, finishing 10 points clear of Madrid, while also defeating Los Blancos in the Supercopa de Espana final.

Xavi's success was built on a rock-solid defence: Barca conceded only 20 goals in LaLiga, 13 fewer than any other side, at an average of 0.5 per game. Their expected goals against (xGA) of 33.9 was also the second-lowest in the division, with only Real Sociedad (33.3) managing a lower total. However, that overperformance of 13.9 also suggested that defensive solidity may not have been sustainable.

That being said, Barca only faced 331 shots across 38 league matches – 8.7 per game on average – again, the lowest tally in LaLiga. They faced 56 shots fewer than any other side (Celta Vigo – 387), while they allowed 91 less than Real Madrid (422). The Blaugrana also faced fewer shots on target (109) than any other team in Spain's top tier.

Going the other way, only Madrid (75), scored more goals in LaLiga last season than Barca (70), though Xavi’s team did underperform their xG (77) despite having Lewandowski in fine form. The Poland international netted 23 goals from a non-penalty xG of 23.8, with an impressive shot conversion rate of 17 per cent. 

Yet in Europe, Barca could not get going. They lost three of their six group-stage matches, only managing to win against Viktoria Plzen (home and away), as their inadequacies were shown up by Bayern Munich and Inter. The Blaugrana could not even secure a Europa League place as consolidation, as they lost 4-3 to Manchester United over a two-legged play-off.

2023-24: Misfiring in attack and underperforming at the back

So, where has it gone wrong this season? Well, rather than conceding fewer goals than they should have done, Barca are now conceding more than they ought to have done based on the quality of shots they have faced and opportunities they have given up.

Barca have shipped 29 goals from their 21 LaLiga matches – only seven sides in the competition have conceded more goals so far this term. They are averaging 1.3 goals against per match.

Yet their 23.6 xGA is the third-lowest in LaLiga – essentially, Barca have conceded five goals more than would have been anticipated based on the quality of opportunities their opponents have created.

Barca have only faced 225 shots, which is a total bettered by only Madrid (217) and Valencia (212). However, their average of 10.7 shots conceded per game is already two higher than it was over the entirety of last season.

At the other end, Xavi's side have mustered the highest xG in the top flight (49), yet they have only managed 43 goals. That is still the third-highest total in LaLiga, but it is a clear and sizeable underperformance.

Even the ever-reliable Lewandowski has suffered. Now 35, he has scored six non-penalty goals from a non-penalty xG of 10.3, while his shot conversion rate has dropped to 13.3 per cent.

All in all, it could be far worse, and Barca have also been hit by injuries to the likes of Pedri and Gavi.

Bad fortune and poor finishing are part of the problem, but ultimately, it is a coach's job to fix it. Xavi looks to be running out of ideas, so calling it quits was perhaps inevitable.

Jurgen Klopp will leave Liverpool at the end of the 2023-24 season.

In an emotional announcement, released via Liverpool's media channels on Friday, Klopp confirmed this campaign would be his last at the helm at Anfield.

Klopp, who is under contract at Liverpool until 2026, claimed he is running out of energy, and after nearly nine years in charge, he will be leaving the club as a legend.

While Liverpool will hope to round off the German's time in charge with a second Premier League title, and possibly further trophies – they are already in the EFL Cup final – the Reds will also have to face the daunting prospect of what comes next.

Regardless, Klopp is set to leave as one of the club's most successful managers. 

With the help of Opta data, we break down Klopp's time in charge.

An Anfield giant

Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Kenny Dalglish. Klopp will take pride and place among the list of great managers to have taken charge of one of England's most successful clubs.

Since replacing Brendan Rodgers in October 2015, Klopp has taken charge of 466 matches, winning 283 of those. His win percentage of 60.7 makes him the best Liverpool manager in that metric, at least as far back as Opta's records go.

Klopp has lost just 78 games, while drawing 105. His team have scored 972 goals, an average of 2.1 per match.

Not that it has always been easy. In his first season – 2015-16 – his win rate was 44.2 per cent. However, it has never dropped below 50 per cent in a single campaign since then, with the low mark coming last term (50 per cent).

Klopp is the only Liverpool manager to win each of the top-flight, European Cup/Champions League, FA Cup, and League Cup with the club, while he has five major honours as it stands, which ranks him behind only Dalglish, Paisley (both six) and the great Shankly (13).

 

His Liverpool side peaked between 2018 and 2020. After reaching the Champions League final in 2017-18, the Reds won their sixth European Cup the following season, before then breaking their Premier League duck in 2019-20, albeit they wrapped up that title behind closed doors. They had also won the Super Cup and Club World Cup earlier that term.

The FA Cup and EFL Cup were both won in 2022 en route to what could have been a historic quadruple.

Liverpool still have four trophies left to play for this season. They sit top of the Premier League as it stands; they will face Chelsea in the EFL Cup final; they are into the knockout stage of the Europa League and they have a home tie against Norwich City in the fourth round of the FA Cup coming up on Sunday.

Klopp's best season based purely on win percentage came in 2021-22, when Liverpool won a remarkable 73 per cent of their games in all competitions, only to fall short of pipping Manchester City to the title on the last day of the Premier League season, before losing to Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

A European master

Klopp started as he meant to go on when it came to European football with Liverpool, leading the Reds to the Europa League final in his first season in charge.

Though they lost to Sevilla on that occasion back in 2016, Liverpool have gone from strength to strength in continental competitions. They were undone by Gareth Bale's magic and Loris Karius' error in Kyiv in 2018, but left all in Europe in their wake when they overcame Tottenham in Madrid a year later, having signed Alisson to ensure they had a top-class goalkeeper between the posts.

Liverpool were back in the showpiece match three years later. Again, it was Madrid they faced, and again Los Blancos came out on top – Vinicius Junior's goal and Thibaut Courtois' heroics enough to deny Klopp his second Champions League crown.

 

Klopp will not manage Liverpool again in the Champions League, meaning his 61.5 win percentage (40/65) in the competition will be maintained. His Liverpool team have scored an incredible 144 Champions League goals - an average of 2.2 per game.

Unbeaten runs, Guardiola rivalry and dominating the derby

The rivalry between Klopp's Liverpool and Pep Guardiola's Man City has been the lifeblood of the Premier League over recent seasons. 

While Liverpool are not exactly cash-strapped, they do not have the state-backed wealth that City enjoy, yet Klopp has managed to keep the Reds highly competitive – on two occasions, they have finished just one point below City with points tallies that in almost any other circumstance would have surely seen them win the title.

Since Klopp's first Premier League game, Liverpool have taken 671 points, a tally that trails only City (716), while the Reds have a positive goal difference of 367 (675 goals for, 308 goals against).

As it stands, Klopp is the Premier League's third-most successful manager based on points per game, with his 2.12 ranking behind only Alex Ferguson (2.16) and Guardiola (2.34).

His next victory in the top flight will bring up his 200th as Liverpool manager, from what will be his 318th such match in charge.

Only Guardiola (18 with City between August and December 2017) has been on a winning run as long as Klopp has in the Premier League, with Liverpool having rallied off 18 straight wins between October 2019 and February 2020. The Reds had previously gone on a 17-game winning streak between March 2019 and October 2019, a run that was ended by a 1-1 draw with Manchester United. 

Liverpool went on a 44-game unbeaten streak, meanwhile, between January 2019 and February 2020. Arsene Wenger (49 games between May 2003 and October 2004) is the only Premier League manager to have gone more successive matches without defeat.

Klopp has gone up against Guardiola on 24 occasions, making City the team Liverpool have faced the most in his time at the club. He has claimed 10 wins (41.7 per cent), lost six times and drawn eight games.

 

Of the four other 'big six' clubs, Chelsea rank as Klopp's least favourite, with just a 27.3 per cent win record from 22 matches (six victories). Klopp has faced Manchester United, meanwhile, on 18 occasions, winning seven times (36.8 per cent).

Meanwhile, Klopp has dominant form in the Merseyside derby. From 18 such meetings, Liverpool have lost just once to Everton, with that defeat coming at Anfield, behind closed doors, in 2021. The Reds have beaten the Toffees 11 times under Klopp (61.1 per cent).

Of the current Premier League sides, Klopp has claimed 12 victories over Bournemouth from 15 meetings, with that win percentage (80) his best against any side he has faced over six times.

Superstar Salah, fearsome front threes and flying full-backs

The story goes that Klopp was not initially in favour of signing Mohamed Salah from Roma back in 2017, but his arm was twisted by Liverpool's then-recruitment guru, Michael Edwards. If that is indeed true, then Klopp will no doubt be thrilled he was swayed to bring in the Egyptian.

Salah has scored 204 goals in 332 appearances for Liverpool, 84 goals more than any other player under Klopp (Sadio Mane – 120 goals from 269 appearances).

 

Only Roberto Firmino (355) has played more times for the Reds in Klopp's tenure than Salah, whose 306 starts puts him out in front. The 31-year-old has totalled up 27,037 minutes, over 2,000 more than next-best Firmino (24,903).

Salah also tops the charts for goal contributions (286), having added 82 assists on top of his strike tally.

Firmino and Mane, Salah's partners in crime in what was arguably the most feared forward line in world football, chipped in with 182 and 157 goal contributions respectively.

Meanwhile, Klopp has given more debuts to teenagers than any manager in Liverpool's history (42). One of those teenagers was Trent Alexander-Arnold, who along with Andrew Robertson, became pivotal to Klopp's heavy metal football.

The flying full-backs have been assist machines: Alexander-Arnold has created 78 goals in 298 appearances, while Robertson has crafted 63 from 275 games.

Just Firmino and Salah have played more minutes under Klopp than Alexander-Arnold (24,323) and Robertson (23,498). 

What's next?

Whoever replaces Klopp has big shoes to fill, and this might well end up being Salah's last season at Anfield too, as Saudi Pro League clubs circle.

Xabi Alonso and Julian Nagelsmann have been some early names touted around, but until the end of May, it will be all about the Kop bidding goodbye to Klopp.

He deserves a hero's farewell.

Victor Wembanyama was delighted to make a "statement" with his first NBA triple-double on Wednesday, having helped the San Antonio Spurs past the Detroit Pistons with a dominant display.

Last year's number one draft pick finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists at Little Caesars Arena as the Spurs ended a five-game losing streak with a 130-108 win over their struggling opponents.

In doing so, Wembanyama – at the age of 20 years and six days – became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double with no turnovers since turnovers were first tracked in 1977-78, surpassing Andre Iguodala, who did so aged 21 years and 54 days in 2005.

Wembanyama's achievement was made all the more impressive by the fact he played just 21 minutes and two seconds overall, the second-fewest minutes needed for a triple-double in the shot-clock era (since 1954-55).

The Frenchman was under a minute away from the outright record, with Russell Westbrook having recorded a triple-double in 20 minutes and 17 seconds for the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2014, against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Speaking after the win, Wembanyama said of his landmark performance: "Doing it in a win is everything, of course. I didn't know it was the second-fastest in NBA history. 

"It matters to me. I'm not the type to talk for nothing. This is the kind of statement we want to make as a team, and this is the type of statement I want to make as a player."

The Pistons were one of the teams who had hoped to recruit Wembanyama, with Detroit having failed to secure the first overall draft pick despite finishing with the league's worst record last year.

Asked about Detroit's previous interest in him, Wembanyama said: "It's weird to imagine a different future and what could have been."

Detroit also have the worst record in the NBA this season, sitting at 3-35 after losing six straight games. Their current losing run started after a win over the Toronto Raptors in late December, which itself halted a joint-record 28-game losing streak.

Pistons coach Monty Williams was unimpressed after a poor first quarter set the tone for another disappointing outing, saying: "The focus and discipline wasn't there.

"There's nobody to look at other than me, not having guys ready to play."

Stephen Curry and Steve Kerr both admitted the Golden State Warriors are still searching for an identity after they were beaten by a Luka Doncic-inspired Dallas Mavericks team on Saturday.

The Warriors sit a disappointing 11th in the Western Conference with a 15-17 record after losing their third straight game, with Curry's 25-point haul not enough to prevent a 132-122 defeat.

Doncic was the catalyst for Dallas upon his return to the fold after sitting out Thursday's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves due to injury, finishing with 39 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

Golden State have seen their last two losses arrive at Chase Center, having also gone down to a Miami Heat team deprived of Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry and Caleb Martin two days earlier.

While injuries and suspensions – most notably for forward Draymond Green – have hampered the Warriors' attempts to find consistency this season, Curry knows they need to do so quickly.

"We've experimented a lot, some for forced reasons, sometimes just us searching for an identity," Curry said. "We haven't found it collectively. 

"It's frustrating, for sure, 32 games in. Any team that is a seriously competitive contender, a good team, can usually answer that question. We have to get to that point before it's too late."

Coach Kerr agreed with that assessment, saying: "We haven't found that grit that every good team needs, where you pull together and you just play for the group. We are not there yet, and that's a problem. 

"We have great guys, but until every team connects in a way that is solely dedicated to winning each game, then we are going to be stuck in this place."

The Warriors were the latest team to fail to contain Doncic, who has scored at least 39 points in his last four games, only failing to reach 30 once in 13 outings in December – when he managed 28 against the Los Angeles Clippers.

He is just the second player in NBA history to average at least 35 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists per game across a calendar month (minimum 10 games played), after Oscar Robertson did so for the Cincinnati Royals in December 1960.

While Kerr was disappointed with the Warriors' defensive efforts, he acknowledged they had simply failed to live with one of the foremost contenders for MVP honours.

"We tried to mix it up on him," Kerr said. "We single-covered him, we switched, we hit him. We tried a lot of different things, but he is a brilliant player and he had a phenomenal game. 

"We weren't communicating. We had some good stretches when we were getting stops, and then our communication broke down."

Detroit Pistons coach Monty Williams was "almost in tears" after Saturday's 129-127 win over the Toronto Raptors, which saw his team avoid setting a new record for most consecutive NBA losses.

Detroit matched the longest losing run in NBA history on Thursday, when they blew a 21-point lead against the Boston Celtics to equal the Philadelphia 76ers' record of 28 straight losses covering the end of 2014-15 and the start of 2015-16.

The Pistons – who were on the worst single-season losing streak in league history – could have taken that unwanted record outright when they welcomed Toronto to Little Caesars Arena, but Cade Cunningham starred as they avoided doing so.

The third-year guard had 30 points and 12 assists as the Pistons clinched victory over their short-handed opponents by going 11 for 12 from the free throw line in the final minute.

Asked about the mood in the Detroit camp after the team's first win since October 28, Williams said: "I've been a ton of locker rooms my whole life, and that's a first for me, to have that. 

"It wasn't relief, it was like: 'Thank God'. Guys were screaming. I was almost in tears. I'm just so happy for our guys. I'm happy for everybody.

"Sometimes it just takes a win like that to get things started. I just have so much respect for our team."

Cunningham, who hit back-to-back three-pointers in a crucial fourth-quarter stretch to pull Detroit clear, added: "I feel amazing.

"We just kept battling. It's been a long stretch, all these losses, but I'm just happy to be part of a group of guys who don't quit."

Pascal Siakam scored 35 points and Dennis Schroder added 28 for the 12-20 Raptors, who traded O.G. Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn to the New York Knicks earlier on Saturday and were unable to field new arrivals RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley.

They sit 12th in the Eastern Conference after losing five of their last six games, while the last-place Pistons are at 3-29 ahead of a four-game road stretch starting against the Houston Rockets on Monday.

Nikola Jokic registered another triple-double as the Denver Nuggets earned their sixth successive win on Thursday, while Tyrese Haliburton joined him in enjoying a big statistical night for the Indiana Pacers.

Jokic had 26 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in less than three quarters as the Nuggets recorded a 142-105 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, who were without the injured Ja Morant.

It was Jokic's 11th triple-double of the season, and he also shot 11-of-11 from the field and made all three of his free throws before exiting the game near the end of the third period.

Jokic now sits fourth in the NBA's all-time charts for triple-doubles with 116, behind Russell Westbrook (198), Oscar Robertson (181) and Magic Johnson (138).

Denver coach Michael Malone, however, says the Serbian is uninterested in individual accolades and was more concerned with ensuring the Nuggets continued their push at the top of the Western Conference.

"I don't know how many MVPs you could say this about, but Nikola doesn't care about how many shots he's getting," Malone told The Denver Post.

"He was 11-for-11 tonight. He doesn't care about that.  If Jamal [Murray] has got it going, he's clapping for Jamal. 

"He takes more joy in his team-mates' success than his own and that's the true definition of being selfless. He lives it every day."

Jokic himself said: "It's a miss and make game. Of course, sometimes you miss, sometimes you make. Today I made all my shots. There's not going to be a lot of those nights."

He was not the only player to enjoy a memorable outing on Thursday, with Pacers guard Haliburton scoring 21 points and adding a career-high 20 assists in a 120-104 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Having led by as many as 25 points, the Pacers found themselves 93-90 down in the fourth quarter before Haliburton took over, hitting back-to-back three-pointers to put his team ahead.

The 23-year-old then scored or assisted on Indiana's next 16 points as they improved to 16-14 with their second straight win.

Haliburton also avoided committing a single turnover, making him just the second player to record 20 points and 20 assists without a miscue in league history, after Chris Paul in 2016. 

However, he insisted his eye-catching figures were only made possible by his team-mates, saying: "I've done a terrible job taking care of the ball lately, so it was good to see zero turnovers again.

"You don't get 20 assists without guys making shots."

Center Myles Turner heaped praise upon Haliburton's performance, saying: "That's what he's been doing pretty much since he's been here.

"It's been phenomenal to watch, phenomenal to be a part of."

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