DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Mavericks guard/forward Luka Dončić is thriving in his rookie season in Dallas and the entire NBA is taking note.
On Thursday, Dončić was named the Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in December.
He garnered the award for the second straight month, joining Jay Vincent (three times in 1981-82) as the only rookies in Mavericks history to win the award multiple times. He also became the first Dallas rookie to receive the honor in each of the first two months of the season.
Dončić (6-7, 218) scored 20-plus points 10 times in his 15 games (all starts) in December, including 30-plus points twice. He also posted four double-doubles during the month. The former EuroLeague MVP averaged 21.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 30.9 minutes per game during December. The Mavericks posted a home mark of 7-1 during the month.
The 6-7 Slovenian led all rookies in points (316), assists (91 – tied for 1st), 3-pointers made (35) and free throws made (93) in December.
In a five-game stretch from Dec. 18 to Dec. 26, the 19-year-old recorded three stat lines that only LeBron James achieved as a teenager. After going for 23 points, six rebounds and a career-high 12 assists at Denver (12/18/18), Dončic produced a game-high-tying 32 points, four rebounds, five assists and a career-high four steals at the L.A. Clippers (12/20/18). He then went for a team-high 21 points, nine rebounds and a game-high 10 assists against New Orleans (12/26/18).
In the game following his near triple-double, Dončic did something neither James nor any other teenager in league history was able to accomplish. He went 7-of-10 (.700) from deep at New Orleans (12/28/18), becoming the first teenager in NBA history to hit seven 3-pointers in a game. Dončic finished with a career-high 34 points (10-16 FGs, 7-10 3FGs, 7-13 FTs) against the Pelicans.
For the season, Dončić is averaging a team-high 19.5 points, 6.6 rebounds (2nd on team), 5.0 assists (2nd on team), 1.1 steals (2nd on team) and 32.0 minutes (2nd on team) in 36 games (all starts). He is shooting 43.6 percent (230-of-527) from the field, 37.6 percent (85-of-226) from 3-point range and 76 percent (158-of-208) from the free-throw line. The only rookies in NBA history to average at least 19 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists per game for a season are: Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan and Grant Hill (Dončić would become the fourth).
Among all rookies in 2018-19, Dončić ranks first in scoring, third in rebounding, second in assists, third in steals, first in minutes, 10th in field goal percentage and fifth in 3-point field goal percentage.