Luka Doncic isn't just the future. He's the present.
The 21-year-old capped off one of the most spectacular playoff performances in recent memory Sunday night with an incredible buzzer-beating 3-pointer to lift the Mavericks over the Clippers and even their first-round series at two games apiece. With Dallas down by one point in the overtime period and 3.7 seconds left on the clock, Doncic caught the inbounds pass and worked his magic, breaking down Los Angeles guard Reggie Jackson with a smooth step-back move and sinking the jumper from way downtown.
"I can't explain the emotions I had, not only when the ball goes in, [but] when I see the whole team like running toward me, that was something special," Doncic said (via The Washington Post's Ben Golliver). "One of the best feelings I've ever had as a player. Just something special, man. This team is something special."
Doncic finished with 43 points (18-of-31 shooting from the field), 17 rebounds and 13 assists in 46 minutes. He became just the third player in NBA history to record 40-plus points, 15-plus rebounds and 10-plus assists in a playoff game, joining Charles Barkley and Oscar Robertson.
Only making his showing more impressive, Doncic posted that line on a bad left ankle and without the help of Kristaps Porzingis, who missed Game 4 with right knee soreness. (Trey Burke took Porzingis' spot in the starting lineup.)
NBA players both inside and outside the league's campus were captivated by "Lukamania." Here's a sampling of the Twitter reaction after Doncic drilled the game-winner:
BANG BANG!! In my *Mike Breen voice— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 23, 2020
W O W‼️‼️‼️‼️ Luka we are not worthy!!!— DWade (@DwyaneWade) August 23, 2020
Big dawg— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) August 23, 2020
Omg LUKA— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) August 23, 2020
Gonna state the obvious here but damn...LUKA IS A BONAFIDE SUPERSTAR!!!— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) August 23, 2020
yoooo— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) August 23, 2020
Sheesh. Step back to freedom— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) August 23, 2020
Young fella special..— DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) August 23, 2020
Damn Luka u a bad mf!— Zach LaVine (@ZachLaVine) August 23, 2020
Luka Magic— Terrence Ross (@TerrenceRoss) August 23, 2020
Oh myyyyyyyyy— Kelly Olynyk (@KellyOlynyk) August 23, 2020