Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic hit a crazy game-winner on Wednesday night and he even surprise himself. Doncic shot a runner inches behind the three-point line and it went in as the Mavericks edged out the hosts Memphis Grizzlies 114-113.
"I was really surprised when it went in," said Doncic, who celebrated the winner he called "kind of lucky" by calmly walking to the baseline before raising his hands in triumph and being mobbed by his Mavericks teammates.
"Those are the best feelings ever." Doncic has made 10 game winners so far in his short career but he has also missed some clutch shots. "Sometimes you're going to make it, but sometimes you're going to miss it, too," said Doncic, who is 10-of-25 on potential tying or go-ahead shots in the final 30 seconds of a game in his career, a 40% success rate that compares favorably to career totals of the league's most prolific clutch stars such as LeBron James (57-of-178, 32%), Kevin Durant (43-of-143, 30%) and Damian Lillard (37-of-106, 35%).
"You've got to take that, too. I think that's the most important part. If my team trusts me in that moment, I'll keep working on it."
Coach says Doncic made a special shot
"In those situations, you pull off a win in a game like that once in a blue moon," said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, whose team improved to 30-24, a game behind the Portland Trail Blazers for sixth place in the Western Conference.
"It just doesn't happen very often. Luka made one of the signature, special shots that you're going to see for a long time. "This is one of those joyous nights where we escaped. We had Houdini. He got us out of here alive."
Mavericks head coach Carlisle also recalled a funny story with Doncic. "One time in Mexico City, [his] second year, I paid him off in pesos because I was so pissed about it," Carlisle said, laughing. "I don't bet with him anymore, because I've seen him do everything.
I've seen him call swishes from half court. I've seen him kick the ball in from 40 feet. Any time we walk into practice and he's sitting on a table getting stretched out behind the basket and he says, 'Hey Coach, if I make a shot, is practice over?' I always look at him like, 'Forget it, no way,' because he's going to make the shot.
He's going to make the shot some way. "He's just a very, very special and unique guy when it comes to these kinds of things. He sees angles and possibilities and has a belief system that very few of us can fathom. Pretty amazing stuff."