Mavs superstar Luka Doncic is still in the process of shaping his NBA future. That same sentiment still holds true for All-Star games as well, where the 22-year-old has remained relatively quiet through his first two outings in the event.
Despite that, Doncic made sure to take in the experience for what it was and enjoy what it is that makes All-Star Weekend so special.
“It’s a pleasure for me,” Doncic said. “I wish some of [the Mavericks’ fans] could enjoy this and come to Atlanta to see the game, but hopefully next year.”
Last season in his first All-Star outing, Doncic played just 17 minutes, scoring eight points on six shots, and handing out four assists. It was a conservative performance from a noticeably star-struck 21-year-old as he attempted to make his mark on an already established event.
Unfortunately for the young Mavs star, 2021 was yet another conservative outing, as he watched Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, and Steph Curry carry Team LeBron to a 170-150 win over team Durant.
Doncic, who played a team-high 32 minutes on Sunday night, managed just eight points while hitting 3-of-7 from the field and 2-of-6 from three and grabbing three rebounds.
Where Doncic did shine, however, was in the playmaking department, where he handed out eight assists on the evening on his way to helping Antetokunmpo take home the game's MVP award thanks to his 35 points and his perfect 16-for-16 shooting performance.
Doncic also played a major role in Curry's 28 points (22 in the first half) and Lillard's 32 points off of the bench.
Perhaps his biggest highlight of the night came in the third quarter, where he hit two threes in a span of less than a minute, helping to extend Team LeBron's lead over Durant to an ostensibly insurmountable level.
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It was far from the most impressive or star-studded performance in his young career, but in typical fashion, Doncic was nothing but smiles.
“It’s how I’ve been playing since I was a kid,” Doncic said. “I always want to have fun.”