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Jan 27, 2024 3:45 am

Luka Doncic, after 73-point effort, chases encore vs. Kings

Only Wilt Chamberlain and Kobe Bryant have ever had to produce a follow-up act like the one Luka Doncic faces Saturday night.

The Dallas Mavericks star will be back on the court against the visiting Sacramento Kings, one night after pouring in a career-best and franchise-record 73 points during a 148-143 road win over the Atlanta Hawks.

Doncic’s output tied for fourth highest in NBA history with Chamberlain (twice) and David Thompson, whose big outing came in the finale of the 1977-78 season.

Chamberlain owns the NBA record of 100 points and also had a 78-point effort during his dominating career. Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash four years ago Friday, ranks second with an 81-point game.

“Those names are special,” Doncic said. “It’s unbelievable.”

Doncic made 25 of 33 shots from the field, 8 of 13 3-point attempts and 15 of 16 free throws while helping Dallas end a three-game skid.

Mavericks coach Jason Kidd raved about Doncic’s performance during his postgame press conference.

“Picasso. This is one of his best paintings,” Kidd said. “This will sell at a high price. Just the way he painted the game.

“We needed every point, and he delivered.”

Ending the losing streak was on the top of Doncic’s mind as he admitted his individual performance was “probably one of the top” of his six-year career.

“We’ve been struggling lately,” Doncic said. “The mindset was get a win. We played great offense. I was just going — whatever the defense gives me.”

Doncic scored exactly 100 points during the three-game slide with efforts of 33, 33 and 34 points.

Dallas guard Kyrie Irving (sprained right thumb) likely will miss his third straight game. He was seen wearing a splint during the Mavericks’ Friday shootaround.

Sacramento will be playing the second contest of a seven-game road trip. The Kings edged the Golden State Warriors 134-133 on Thursday in the opener.

Sacramento has won its past two games behind veteran forward Harrison Barnes, who scored 32 points in a 122-107 win over Atlanta on Monday and followed up with a career-high 39 against the Warriors.

“We’re all working in concert, so I think not being attached as much to the credit, but just doing your job and knowing that the way you have a high-powered offense is all five guys are going to have to make a sacrifice at some point in time,” Barnes said. “Some nights you’ll be able to score baskets, but other nights you may set a lot of screens. You may make a lot of cuts or you may make a lot of passes that don’t show up in the stat sheet.”

Barnes has made 11 of 20 3-point attempts during the two-game spree, including a season-high seven (in 12 attempts) against Golden State.

Barnes took 44 shots over the past two games after taking just 30 over the previous six contests.

“I think a lot of it just happens in the flow, but that’s kind of how he is getting going, and once he’s going, there is more of an effort to get him the ball in certain spots,” Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox said of the increase in scoring opportunities for Barnes.

Fox scored 29 points against Golden State, and Domantas Sabonis added 18 points and 13 assists.

Sabonis had 32 points and 13 rebounds and Fox added 30 points and seven assists as the Kings registered a 129-113 win at Dallas on Nov. 19. Doncic had 25 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

–Field Level Media

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