Luka Doncic joins elite playoff triple-double list after Game 6 masterpiece vs. Thunder

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After the Mavericks beat the Thunder in Game 6 of the playoff semifinals, Luka Doncic has now led his team to the Western Conference finals for the second time in three years. However, this time around the Slovenian is surrounded by an even stronger roster, including co-star Kyrie Irving. 

For example, both players combined for 51 points and 13 assists in their 117-116 victory on Saturday. After the game in which in they rallied back from a 17-point difference, coach Jason Kidd marvelled over his European guard.

“He’s one of the best players in the world, but sometimes we lose sight that it’s not just built [around Doncic],” said the Mavs tactician. “One guy can’t get you there. You need a team. Right now, he’s got a team that he believes in.”

Luka ended Game 6 with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to his name, and became only the fifth player in league history to ever record three straight triple-doubles during postseason.

Even though Doncic has been dealing with a sprained right knee and sore left ankle throughout this series, he still averaged 24.7 points per game, despite meaning a big drop from his NBA-leading 33.9 in regular season.

“We won the series. That’s what matters in the end,” assured the Slovenian. “We won 4-2, [even though] we didn’t have home advantage. It’s great that we won, but just struggles are going to come. You got to stay positive and keep hooping.”

The 25-year-old then credited Kyrie for contributing “always positive energy” to the locker room. Irving, who improved his individual record to 14-0 when his team clinches a series, admitted these last matchups have been very emotional.

“I was trying to hold back to emotions just because of how hard and tough this series was,” he said after eliminating the Thunder. “I think we really got to appreciate each other’s talents and skill sets and, most importantly, our will. Got a lot of guys that love to compete, a lot of guys that want to see each other do well and are willing to sacrifice and do the little things in order to get wins. So, I think we’re continuing to prove that.”

Inside the NBA panel concurs that the Timberwolves are favourites to conquer the Western Conference Finals over Mavericks

Now that we finally have a Western Conference Finals matchup, TNT’s Inside the NBA panel broke down the series between Dallas and Minnesota, before picking the Wolves as the favourites to head into the NBA Finals. Vince Carter was the first to voice his opinion.

“I like Minnesota’s defense and I think they can handle the offense of Dallas. The question is, can Gobert, Reid, and KAT keep these young guys off the glass? Gafford is extremely active on the glass, Lively is extremely active on the glass. What this leads to is extra opportunities for open threes… It’ll be an interesting series and I think it could go six or seven games… I like Minnesota,” said the Raptors icon.

On the other hand, Charles Barkley doesn’t believe it will be easy for the Wolves, but guarantees this is going to be a historic matchup. “I think this is going to be a fabulous series. I like the Wolves,” Chuck told the rest of the panel.

While Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith also leaned towards Anthony Edward’s squad, this last one insisted that the series will be tighter than everyone expects it to be.