There was no stopping Luka Doncic on Monday.
The Dallas Mavericks All-Star guard put on a scoring clinic, finishing with 45 points against the Phoenix Suns in Game 1 of their second round matchup. Unfortunately for Doncic and the Mavs it came in a losing effort as Phoenix won 121-114 to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
Doncic got his 45 points on 15-of-30 shooting, 4-of-11 from behind the arc and 11-of-14 from the free throw line. The 23-year-old lead guard also grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out eight assists.
Doncic’s 45 points tied Miami Heat superstar Jimmy Butler for the highest-scoring game in the 2022 NBA playoffs. But he also set NBA history.
Luka Doncic shares NBA playoff history with Kobe Bryant
With his Game 1 performance, Doncic became the youngest player to have 45 points and 10 rebounds in a playoff game since Kobe Bryant.
Doncic also now has the most 40-point playoff games by a player 23 or younger with six. That’s more than NBA legends like Larry Bird and Tracy McGrady as well as current superstars like Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard.
Luka has more 40-point playoff games (6) than:
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 3, 2022
And that’s not all.
Doncic is also on the verge of another historic record, which is currently held by legendary Hall of Famer Michael Jordan.
Luka Doncic ties Michael Jordan’s playoff record
Thanks to his 45-point performance, Doncic is now tied with Jordan with the highest career playoff scoring average in NBA history. Doncic is averaging 33.4 points per game for his postseason career. Jordan’s career scoring average in the playoffs is also 33.4 points per game.
If Luka is able to keep up this level of scoring against the Suns all series, he will pass Jordan and also, put his Mavs in a position to get out of the second round for the first time since 2011.
Highest playoff scoring average in NBA history
Jordan is currently the only player in NBA history with a higher career scoring average than Doncic in the playoffs.
In the first postseason series of his career, Doncic averaged 31.0 points per game. He was even better in his second, averaging 35.7 points over a seven-game series with the Clippers.
Against the Jazz in the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, Doncic averaged 29.0 points per game.
Doncic needed only 16 games to score 500 playoff points. That’s the fewest since — you guessed it — Jordan.
Luka Doncic has reached 500 playoff points in 16 career games, the fewest needed since Michael Jordan ?
MJ did it in 14 games! pic.twitter.com/jPDD3vuHeH
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 29, 2022
The other active players in the top 15 all-time in postseason scoring average are Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Donovan Mitchell, Anthony Davis, Brandon Ingram, Devin Booker, Stephen Curry and Nikola Jokic.
James holds the record for most total points ever scored in the playoffs, followed by Jordan.
|13||Billy Ray Bates**||26.7|
* Ingram has appeared in only six playoff games to this point of his career
** Bates appeared in only six playoff games in his career