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Playoffs 2020

NBA Playoffs 2020: Records set and broken by Luka Doncic in his debut postseason

As the championship-contending LA Clippers closed out their first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks with a 111-97 Game 6 victory, curtains came down on Luka Doncic's first NBA playoffs.

The 21-year-old Slovenian sensation did more than just impress, putting up stellar numbers and quite often single-handedly carrying his team to competitiveness or in some cases, the win. At the end of the series, he even earned the high praise and respect of reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard:

Through the six games, he averaged 31.0 points, 9.8 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 1.2 steals on 50.0% shooting from the field.

Courtesy of those numbers, he became the fifth player in NBA history to average at least 30.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists for a playoff series, however, he is the first player ever to do so in their first playoffs appearance.

In his first NBA postseason, on a bad ankle nonetheless, Doncic showcased that he's a veteran of playing in the playoffs at the professional level. The 6'7" guard from Slovenia set and broke multiple records in his first go-around in the NBA playoffs. We compile all of them.

Game 1

Stat line: 42 PTS (13-21 FGs; 2-6 3Ps; 14-15 FTs), 9 ASTS, 7 REBS, 3 STLS

It was a rough first 3:30 minutes in the playoffs for Doncic. He committed five of the team's six turnovers and the Clippers had gotten off to a 18-2 start. What's worse, he seemed to have hurt his left leg.

After getting that re-taped in the locker room, Doncic began playing at the MVP-caliber level we were all accustomed to. He sparked the Mavericks to a 28-13 run (scoring or assisting on 25 of the team's 28 points), part of a larger 48-18 run.

He finished the game with 42 points, the most points by any player in NBA history on playoff debut. His game-high points tally were also the most scored by any Mavericks player since Dirk Nowitzki in 2011.

Game 2

Stat line: 28 PTS, 8 REBS, 7 ASTS

In Game 2, the Mavericks offence caught fire and Doncic just did his bit as the team raced to a wire-to-wire victory, thus, leveling the series.

Needing to play just 28 minutes, Doncic's increased his playoff career points tally to 70 - the most by a player since the NBA/ABA merger through the first two career postseason games.

Game 3

Stat line: 13 PTS, 10 REBS, 10 ASTS

Late in the third quarter, Doncic turned his left ankle and was forced to head back to the locker room. He returned to play for a few minutes in the fourth but checked out once again, this time for good. Post-game, the Mavericks announced the injury to be a right ankle sprain.

Despite the shortened playing time, he couldn't be kept out of the record books.

Game 4

Stat line: 43 PTS, 17 REBS, 13 ASTS (all playoff career-highs)

A game for the ages. Given the circumstances, arguably one of the greatest individual performances in NBA playoff history. The young stud broke way too many records to list them down. Here's a short list of them all:

A few additional anecdotes not mentioned in the two tweets embeded above:

Games 5 & 6

Box Score: 22 PTS, 8 REBS, 4 ASTS - Game 5; 38 PTS, 9 REBS, 9 ASTS - Game 6

Continuing to play on his bad ankle and without Porzingis, Doncic did all he could but with the Clippers beginning to find their groove, the Mavericks were outmatched.

In Game 5, they lost by 43 points. In Game 6, Doncic nearly recorded a third triple-double but the team still lost in convincing fashion 111-97.

Despite the last couple of games, it's very safe to say that the Doncic still has plenty of potential in order to get even better than he already is - something his head coach Rick Carlisle said after the team was eliminated.

"He's one of the toughest players that I've ever seen in the league, and that goes back 35 or 36 years," Carlisle stated. "I expect that he'll come back next year even better with something new in his game."

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