There had been only a dozen 29-point triple-doubles in the NBA this season entering Wednesday. Half of them belonged to Nikola Jokic. For basically anybody else, it's an extraordinary feat. The majority of players won't come close at any point in their careers. Luka Doncic does it every now and then, and on Wednesday, he did so for the fourth time this season. If the story ended there, we'd already be able to call it a great night, if a not exactly unusual one for the Dallas Mavericks star.
Except the story doesn't end there. In fact, it ended at halftime, because Doncic had already earned his 29-point triple-double by the end of the second quarter. That's right, Doncic scored 29 points, dished out 10 assists and pulled in 10 rebounds in only 24 minutes of play against the Utah Jazz in a game that ended in a dominant, 147-97 victory over the Utah Jazz.
The overall stat line for Doncic, while still remarkable in a vacuum, ultimately didn't change much after halftime. He wound up with 40 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists after sitting out the fourth quarter of the blowout. Doncic was so good that he even managed to get under the skin of Kris Dunn, one of the many Jazz players who failed to defend him. The two of them got into a minor skirmish, and afterward, microphones caught Doncic saying "he's just mad I busted his ass."
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Had he needed it, a 50-point triple-double would have been well within his reach. As it stands, it was the 60th triple-double of his career, putting him ahead of Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird for ninth place on the all-time leaderboard. With the way he's playing this season, it wouldn't be inconceivable for him to make a run at seventh-place Wilt Chamberlain, who has 78, by the end of this season.
Eventually, he's going to wind up even higher on that list. Doncic currently trails four active players on the all-time triple-double leaderboard: Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, James Harden and Nikola Jokic. At just 24 years old, he's already one-third of the way to Oscar Robertson, the retired leader at 181. After all, when you can get triple-doubles by halftime, there's little standing in your way if the goal is to rack them up at a historic pace.