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'Playoff caliber game': Luka records franchise-record 22nd triple-double in OT game against Pelicans

With Patrick Mahomes and other celebs in the crowd, the first edition of Luka Doncic vs. Zion Williamson lived up to the hype. And then some.
Credit: AP
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) prepares to shoot as New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

DALLAS — The spotlight of national TV, nor the celebs abound, could not shake Luka Doncic from ascending the record book and lifting the Dallas Mavericks to a thrilling win over Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans, 127-123.

In overtime, Doncic dribbled around a screen set by Kristaps Porzingis and slotted a perfect bounce pass between two defenders into the hands of the cutting 7 foot 3-inch tall big man who dunked the ball with 50 seconds left.

The pass was the final piece to Luka's 22nd triple-double, which surpassed Jason Kidd for the most in Mavs history.

Kidd needed 500 games to reach 21 triple-doubles.

Doncic needed 122 to reach 22.

The pass was witnessed by a handful of celebrities in the Dallas arena, including Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and noted Mavs fan Patrick Mahomes, Real Madrid soccer star Eden Hazard and former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant.

The pass was also witnessed by Pelicans phenom Zion Williamson.

The 19-year-old rookie from Duke made his American Airlines Center debut on Wednesday night, after missing the first 44 games of the season with a knee injury.

Zion finished with 21 points (9-18 FG) and six rebounds.

Credit: AP
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) watch play during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

However, the wunderkind from Slovenia won Round 1.

Doncic scored 30 points, grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds and dished out 10 assists.

Seven of Doncic's points came in overtime, which led the Mavericks to their first overtime victory of the season.

Postgame Note: According to ESPN's Tim MacMahon, Luka received an x-ray on his left thumb after the game. The x-ray was precautionary. Luka sprained his thumb last week, which forced him to miss Sunday's game in Minnesota.

The Mavs were on their way to victory in the fourth quarter, until Nicolo Melli drilled a three-pointer from the corner -- over the outstretched arm of Porzingis -- with 10 seconds left.

Porzingis continued his torrid stretch, which earned him Western Conference Player of the Week honors last week.

The 24-year-old Latvian dropped 34 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks.

Simply put, Porzingis and Doncic put on a show.

“Luka's running the show with [Porzingis]," Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said after the game. "This is when that group has to continue to grow. And they had great success tonight.”

The group grew up.

Seth Curry scored 21 points off the bench including six three-pointers.

Maxi Kleber blocked five shots and made things tough for Zion on offense.

Complete effort. Multiple players stepped up. And a clutch W to show for it.

"Playoff caliber game," said Carlisle.

The Pelicans threw a haymaker -- Lonzo Ball scored a career-high 7 three-pointers for crying out loud.

The pass delivered the knockout blow.

Dallas improves to 38-25 and sits 7th in the West standings -- 2.5 games back of Houston for the 4th spot, which secures home-court for at least one playoff series.

Up next: The Mavericks host rookie sensation Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

For more Mavericks coverage, follow Jonah Javad on Twitter (@JonahJavad), Facebook.com/JonahWFAA and Instagram (@jonahjavad).

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