Luka Doncic Smashes Magic Johnson Record in Mavericks Win

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic wrote his name in NBA annals again on Wednesday night, surpassing Magic Johnson in the list of players needing the fewest amount of games to reach 30 career triple-doubles.

Playing in his 146th NBA match, the Slovenian finished with 13 points, 12 points and 12 rebounds as the Mavericks defeated the Pacers 124-112 in Indianapolis, making him the second-fastest player in league history to reach the milestone. He stays behind Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, who accumulated 30 triple-doubles in just 75 games.

By comparison, it took Magic 190 games to put together 30 games with at least 10 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds.

To put Doncic's feat into context, the NBA only began tracking triple-doubles in the 1979-80 season, when Magic made a habit of compiling them in his rookie campaign.

Despite being only in his third season in the league, Doncic already ranks joint-15th alongside Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons in the all-time list of triple-double leaders and has accumulated two more triple-doubles than Michael Jordan did throughout his entire career.

With 181 and 138 triple-doubles respectively, Robertson and Magic rank first and third on the list, but so far Doncic has accumulated games with at least 10 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds at a faster pace than both. The Slovenian averages a triple-double every 4.8 games, while Robertson and Magic averaged one ever 5.74 games and 6.56 games, respectively, throughout their careers.

Doncic's current rate is faster even than Russell Westbrook's, whose 150 triple-doubles are the most of any current NBA player and the second-most all-time and who is the only player, along with Robertson, to average a triple-double over the course of a season—a feat he accomplished during his last three seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Westbrook, who holds the record for most triple-doubles in a single season with 42, averages a triple-double every 5.9 games, while LeBron James, who ranks fifth on the all-time list, has recorded one every 13.5 games.

Since being selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the third overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft and being subsequently traded to Dallas, Doncic has developed into one of the league's brightest stars.

The 21-year-old was named Rookie of the Year in his first season in the NBA and followed it up with a first All-Star selection and inclusion in the All-NBA First Team last year.

Speaking in November, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban joined the chorus of those drawing comparisons between Doncic and Magic.

"Clutch player in crunch time. [He] will take on responsibility against anybody, anytime," he said during an appearance on the Danger Show with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

"Great teammate. Fun kid. Magic will light things up with a smile, Luka's the same way for the Mavs. He's got that charisma that Magic has."

From a statistical standpoint, the similarities are evident. Doncic finished his rookie year with an average of 21.2 points per game, 7.8 rebounds and six assists, while Magic averaged 18 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game.

In their sophomore seasons, both players followed an upward curve as Doncic vaulted himself into MVP territory following an astonishing season in which he averaged 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game.

Magic, meanwhile, averaged 21.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game.

The most obvious and significant difference between the two lies in their respective teams' success.

Magic was named NBA Finals MVP in his rookie season as the Lakers won the NBA title after defeating the Philadelphia 76ers in six games, while the Mavericks finished with a 33-49 record. Both players suffered first-round exits in the playoffs in their sophomore seasons.

Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks during the game against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on January 20 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Mavericks won 124-112. Andy Lyons/Getty