History maker Luka Doncic shows why MVP snub was wrong in NBA play-offs

Luka Doncic made history on his NBA play-off debut to show just why his MVP snub was wrong.

But the Slovenian superstar, a triple-double machine this season, will have to raise his game to stop the Dallas Mavericks crashing out in the first round.

Doncic had 42 points, nine assists and seven rebounds against the LA Clippers, setting a new record for most points in a play-off debut.

The red-hot former Real Madrid forward scored or assisted on 66 of the 82 points the Mavericks scored while he was on the floor.

And it was just more evidence of why excluding him from the final three candidates for Most Valuable Player this season looks so, so misguided.

But the 21-year-old phenomenon could not will his team to victory in Game 1 of their Western Conference series as they went down 118-110.

And Doncic described his record-setting performance as “terrible” – because it came with a costly 11 turnovers.

He said: “I got to do way better than that. Eleven turnovers, never had that much. I just want to win. I am really proud of this team, we fought, we fought 'til the end. We tried. I am really proud."

Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden and LeBron James all got the nod in the MVP race.

But Doncic had a strong case to edge out Houston Rockets superstar Harden after leading a young Mavs team to their best win percentage in five years.

The likes of former Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce even called him “the most talented player in the NBA.”

And moments after his side's Game 1 defeat, Clippers star Paul George called Doncic “the future”.

It's the present that matters right now though, and Doncic has it all to do to drag Dallas any further in the play-offs against a Clippers team who are among the favourites to go all the way.

Health has been an issue all season for Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers, who have rarely been able to get all their best players on court at the same time.

But they managed it in this game, and after Mavs forward Kristaps Porzingis was controversially ejected, they had more than enough to win the game.

And with their noses in front it’s a long way back for Dallas ahead of Game 2 of their best-of-seven series on Wednesday.

Leonard was full of praise for Doncic afterwards, saying: “He's great. You know what I mean? He's very poised. He's very trusted on that team.

“He can get to his spots, find his teammates, gets them easy baskets. He makes tough baskets well.

“The Mavs are a tough team. They got a great culture over there, as well. They're not going to stop fighting. This is Playoff basketball.”

But the Clippers were the favourites to win the series going in. And they remain the favourites to go all the way in the eyes of many.

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