The NBA announced today that Mavericks guard Luka Dončić has been named a starter for the 72nd NBA All-Star Game, which will take place at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. CT on TNT. It marks his fourth straight All-Star selection and his franchise-record third time being voted as a starter.
The 23-year-old joins Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Isiah Thomas and Anthony Davis as the only players to earn four All-Star nods before their 24th birthday (Davis only appeared in three of those games).
Dončić also ties Rolando Blackman (4) for the second-most All-Star selections in Mavericks history. Dirk Nowitzki, who holds the franchise record for the most All-Star appearances (14), is the only other Maverick to garner four-or-more consecutive All-Star bids (11 straight, 2002 to 2012). Dončić, who made back-to-back All-Star starts in 2020 and 2021, will also break a tie with Nowitzki (2) for the most All-Star starts in Mavericks history.
Dončić (6-7, 230) is averaging a league-high (career-best) 33.8 points (.498 FG%), 9.1 rebounds, 8.6 assists, a career-high 1.5 steals and a career-high 37.5 minutes per game in 44 games (all starts) this season. He leads the NBA or is tied for the league lead in 20-point games (42), 30-point efforts (33), 35-point outings (20), 40-point performances (10) and 50-point nights (3).
In addition to leading the league in scoring, Dončić also ranks in the top 20 in assists (4, 8.6 apg), steals (11, 1.52 spg) and rebounding (18, 9.1 rpg). He has produced an NBA-best nine 30-point triple-doubles, more than the rest of the league combined (8).
Dončić has also recorded a league-high 31 30-point, five-rebound, five-assist games, nearly twice as many as the next closest player on the list (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and James are tied for second with 16 such games each).
The three-time All-NBA First Team selection scored 30-plus points in each of Dallas’ first nine games in 2022-23, the second-longest 30-point streak to begin a season in NBA history (Wilt Chamberlain, 23 games, 1962-63).
After garnering back-to-back Western Conference Player of the Week awards to close out the 2022 calendar year (Dec. 19 to 25; Dec. 26 to Jan. 1), Dončić was named the Kia NBA Western Conference Player of the Month for December after recording the highest-scoring month in franchise history (35.1 ppg over 15 games).
Dončić poured in a franchise-record 60 points to go along with a career-high 21 rebounds and 10 assists in Dallas’ 126-121 come-from-behind win over New York on Dec. 27, becoming the first player in NBA history to record a 60-point, 20-rebound triple-double. He netted 50-plus points three times over his final five games in December (50 at Houston on Dec. 23, 60 vs. New York on Dec. 27, 51 at San Antonio on Dec. 31), racking up 228 points, 56 boards and 51 assists over that five-game stretch. He became the first player in NBA history to total 225-plus points, 50-plus rebounds and 50-plus assists over any five-game run.
The 6-7 Slovenian averaged 40.2 points, 11.2 rebounds and 9.2 assists over a 10-game stretch from Dec. 23 to Jan. 12 (the Mavericks went 8-2 in those games), becoming the first player age 23-or-younger to average 40 points over a 10-game stretch since Michael Jordan in 1986. Dončić also became the first player in NBA history to average at least 40 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists over any 10-game span.
Dončić has produced 10 triple-doubles in 2022-23 (56 for his career), his fourth consecutive season recording 10-or-more triple-doubles (17 in 2019-20, 11 in 2020-21, 10 in 2021-22). His 10 triple-doubles are the second-most in the NBA this season and the Mavericks have gone 9-1 in those games. In his most recent triple-double performance, Dončić registered 35 points, including a game-tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation and a game-tying triple in the final minute of overtime, to go along with 14 boards and 13 assists in the Mavericks’ 119-115 double-overtime win at the L.A. Lakers on Jan. 12.
It marked his 30th career 30-point triple-double, making him the fifth player in NBA history with 30-or-more 30-point triple-doubles (Oscar Robertson, 106; Russell Westbrook, 48; L. James, 37; James Harden, 35).
Dončić, who turns 24 years old on Feb. 28, currently sits at 63 career 35-point efforts, which is tied with Bob McAdoo for the second-most 35-point games by a player 23-or-younger in NBA history.
Only James (87), who is poised to become the league’s all-time leading scorer, has produced more before his 24th birthday.