The Dallas Mavericks traded Kristaps Porzingis on Thursday and Luka Doncic stepped up and dropped a career-high of 51 points to lead the Mavericks to a 112-105 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. "When you feel like that, you just don't want to be stopped and keep going," Doncic said, per ESPN.
"All the shots felt good. I missed two 3s -- even those felt great. They were switching. They didn't want me to create, so I had to go to work." Doncic scored 28 points in the first quarter, most by any player scored in a quarter this year.
"Luka was aggressive from the start and the guys just went for the ride," Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki once scored 53 points but Doncic didn't want to shoot on the final possession of the game as the game was already decided.
"You don't shoot that shot," said Doncic, who couldn't recall having a 50-point performance at any level. "It's disrespectful."
Doncic on the Porzingis trade
"Obviously, we're going to miss KP," Doncic said.
"We were building something great here. It didn't obviously work out. I wish him the best, and we've got two new guys who are welcome. Bertans is a great shooter. Dinwiddie can put the ball on the floor and he can score.
The NBA is a business. "He went through a lot with the injuries. I think this year, he was way better. Like I said, the NBA is a business, and I wish him the best in the future." Doncic is now the lone star in Mavericks uniform.
"I trust them, whatever move they make," said Doncic, who was ecstatic that starting forward Dorian Finney-Smith agreed to a four-year, $55 million extension after Thursday's deadline. "I think I have great teammates.
A lot of people can do a lot of stuff, and I'm really good now. I think we're playing great basketball." Mavericks coach Kidd was asked whether the Mavs could contend for the title without a second star. "We'll see.
I'm the coach who has to put them in a position to be successful, get paid, find a way to win. As we go through this journey, we'll see if we come across a No. 2 guy. It could be the team that we have where there is no real second star.
You've just got guys who play roles at a very high level. And you've seen teams win championships that way, too," KIdd said.