Back on November 1, the Los Angeles Lakers went to Dallas and outlasted the Mavericks in overtime in what is still, to this point, one of the best games we’ve seen all season. Early on Sunday afternoon, exactly one month later, the Mavericks made their way to Los Angeles and repaid the favor by cruising to a 14-point win that ended the Lakers’ 10-game winning streak. While the most recent matchup wasn’t quite as exciting, there was one big similarity — besides the fact that the road team won.
In that November game, LeBron James finished with 39 points, 12 rebounds and 16 assists, and closed things out with a nasty step-back jumper over the outstretched arms of Luka Doncic. With just 90 seconds to play in overtime, and the Lakers clinging to a four-point lead, LeBron sized up Doncic and drilled the shot to seal the win.
This time around, Doncic was the star, and though he didn’t quite finish with a triple-double of his own, he did put up 27 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Mavericks on the day. And not only did he help his team get revenge with a win, he found some personal redemption by hitting a step-back triple of his own over LeBron. Late in the fourth, he took his turn to size up The King, and swished a triple to put an exclamation point on the Mavs’ victory.
The situations obviously weren’t exactly the same, but it was still pretty sweet to see these two superstars trade nearly identical shots over each other. Both of them even used a between-the-legs move to set things up, and then turned and stared at the TV cameras afterwards.
LeBron is still “The King,” but someday soon he’s going to cede his place to the next generation, and Doncic will be one of the select few coming for his crown. To watch that transition start to happen in real time is one of those moments that doesn’t really need any deeper explanation or analysis; it’s just awesome.