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.
|Rank||Player||Points||Team (vs. opponent)||Date|
|1st||Luka Doncic||42||Mavericks (vs. Clippers)||Aug. 17, 2020|
|2nd||John Williamson*||38||Nets (vs. 76ers)||April 11, 1979|
|3rd||George Mikan||37||Lakers (vs. Chicago Stags)||March 23, 1949|
|T-4th||Kareem Abdul-Jabbar||36||Bucks (vs. 76ers)||March 25, 1970|
|T-4th||Gary Brokaw||36||Bucks (vs. Pistons)||April 13, 1976|
|T-4th||Julius Erving*||36||76ers (vs. Celtics)||April 17, 1977|
|T-4th||Derrick Rose||36||Bulls (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.