DALLAS — It has been sixty years since the NBA has seen a season-opening scoring streak like Luka Doncic’s sizzling start to the season.
Doncic has scored at least 30 points in each of the Dallas Mavericks’ first seven games, the longest 30-point streak to start a season since Wilt Chamberlain in 1962-63. It’s a feat that has only been accomplished three times previously, twice by Chamberlain and once by Jack Twyman.
Doncic is averaging a league-leading 36.1 points per game. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, that is the third highest-scoring average through seven games in the last 60 seasons behind Michael Jordan (37.0 in 1986-87) and James Harden (36.6 in 2019-20).
“That’s rare air and we get to see that on a nightly basis,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said after Doncic had 33 points in a 103-100 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. “That’s pretty cool. A 23-year-old kid that is playing on this level is really, really special to see. He can do it in so many ways, when you talk about posting up or getting to the basket, shooting the 3 or shooting that little step back.
“It’s really cool to watch, and it just shows the focus that he has right now. He’s carrying the team and putting the team in position to win.”
Doncic also had 11 assists, marking his fourth 30-point, 10-assist performance already this season. The rest of the NBA has combined for four such outings this season. Doncic broke Mark Aguirre’s franchise record for the longest streak of 30-point games.
As Doncic noted, it’s a stark contrast to his sluggish start last season, when he admittedly reported to training camp out of shape.
“I just know from last year I had to start better, because the way I started last year wasn’t acceptable,” said Doncic, who is shooting 51.4% from the floor. “I tried to learn from that and just do better than last year.”
Doncic, a first-team All-NBA selection the last three seasons, has frequently found himself on short lists of players who have hit certain statistical milestones. With a grin, he mentioned that it seems that Chamberlain is “always there.”
“Amazing, but I’m not surprised,” Dallas guard Spencer Dinwiddie said of Doncic’s historically significant scoring streak. “Luka’s a savant in every sense of the word as it applies to basketball. Nothing shocks me. Obviously, he’s young and the best is yet to come. I think he’s going to set a lot of records for the Mavs and be in the conversation with the greats.”