2020 NBA Playoffs
2020 NBA Playoffs

Luka Doncic's 42-point Game 1 sets new NBA playoff debut record

From NBA.com Staff

Aug 18, 2020 3:22 AM ET


Luka Doncic delivered a 42-point performance in his first playoff game.

The best playoff debut ever?

In a way. Luka Doncic would surely have preferred a 1-0 first-round series lead on the LA Clippers over an individual accomplishment.

Instead, the Slovenian sensation is staring at that deficit despite his 42 points in Game 1 -- the highest-scoring game ever by an NBA player in his playoff debut. The second-year playmaker shot 13-for-21 from the field and 14-for-15 from the free-throw line while adding seven rebounds and nine assists to his first postseason impression.

The single-game scoring list Doncic now tops is a combination of all-time legends and ABA transfers in the mid-1970s. None of them broke the 40-point threshold Doncic crossed on Monday.

Most points in playoff debut, NBA history
RankPlayerPointsTeam (vs. opponent)Date
1stLuka Doncic42Mavericks (vs. Clippers)Aug. 17, 2020
2ndJohn Williamson*38Nets (vs. 76ers)April 11, 1979
3rdGeorge Mikan37Lakers (vs. Chicago Stags)March 23, 1949
T-4thKareem Abdul-Jabbar36Bucks (vs. 76ers)March 25, 1970
T-4thGary Brokaw36Bucks (vs. Pistons)April 13, 1976
T-4thJulius Erving*3676ers (vs. Celtics)April 17, 1977
T-4thDerrick Rose36Bulls (vs. Celtics) April 18, 2009
* = played in ABA playoffs prior to NBA playoff debut

Doncic's performance marks the beginning of a new era for the Mavericks, who are making their first playoff appearance without franchise legend Dirk Nowitzki since 1990.

Nowitzki, a future lock for the Hall of Fame, put up 20 points and 12 rebounds in his playoff debut, a two-point loss to Utah in 2001.

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