Luka Dončić already had the Dallas Mavericks' all-time single-game scoring record. He just increased it by double digits, with the biggest performance of what was already an all-time week.
The recently minted NBA All-Star starter scored 73 points against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday to reset his career high in scoring, the Mavericks' scoring record and a whole lot more when it comes to his place in NBA history. The Mavericks needed nearly every one of the points in a 148-143 win.
The total ties Wilt Chamberlain and David Thompson for the fourth-most scored in a single game in NBA history.
With that total, Dončić becomes the 10th player in NBA history to top the rare mark of 70 points and the first European player to do it. Here's the full group:
Wilt Chamberlain (100, did it five other times because he was Wilt Chamberlain)
Kobe Bryant (81)
David Thompson (73)
Luka Dončić (73)
Elgin Baylor (71)
Donovan Mitchell (71)
David Robinson (71)
Damian Lillard (71)
Devin Booker (70)
Joel Embiid (70)
Dončić finished the night with 25-of-33 shooting, 8-of-13 from 3-point range and 15-of-16 on free throws, with 10 rebounds and seven assists in 44 minutes played. Those shooting numbers make the night even more impressive, as no player had ever scored more than 60 points on 90% true shooting.
All of that came against a Hawks team that owned the third-overall draft pick used to select Dončić in 2018, which they traded to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for draft picks that became Trae Young and Cam Reddish.
The NBA has seen some wild performances this week
So Dončić scored 73 points. That would usually be far and away the highest total scored in a while, and yet there were three other players who all topped 60 points this week.
Joel Embiid joined that 70-club on Monday, bullying rookie Victor Wembanyama on a night that also included 18 rebounds. Karl-Anthony Towns followed that up with 62 points hours later, but his Minnesota Timberwolves ended up suffering a loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
Friday echoed that pair of performances. While Dončić was ripping through the Hawks, Devin Booker was simultaneously going off against the Indiana Pacers, who are still without breakout star Tyrese Haliburton. Booker finished with 62 points, eight short of his career high, and the Suns ended up losing on an Obi Topping layup.
Monday was the fourth time multiple players had ever scored 60 or more points in the same day and Friday was the fourth. By the NBA's count, there have been five games of 60-plus points in 2023-24, the most in a season since 1962-63, when there were nine.
Dončić and Embiid are also the latest in a spate of 70-point scorers, as Damian Lillard and Donovan Mitchell's 70-point nights both came last season.