Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic Sensational in Return Against Los Angeles Clippers

In what is becoming a troubling trend for the Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic played an incredible game that fell short on Tuesday night. In a 113-101 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Doncic compiled 43 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, and two steals in yet another remarkable (if ultimately futile) effort.

Doncic missed Sunday's 120-109 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder with a sore ankle, and the rest allowed him an enormous workload last night. He was efficient even at a high volume, hitting 12 of his 22 shots while playing 43 of a possible 48 minutes. It was his 21st double-double of the season, and the big night lifted his per-game season averages to 34.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 8.7 assists. He's even managing a career-high field goal percentage (50.1%).

Doncic is already a three-time All Star, but he has clearly levelled up in his fifth season. He'll need the 23-19 Mavericks to improve around him if he's going to pull away as the MVP favorite; Doncic is currently leading the team in points, rebounds, and assists. Without more help, the Mavericks aren't likely to end the season as one of the NBA's truly elite teams, and that could nudge voters towards more successful players with credible cases.

The Mavericks host the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night.

Photo Credit: © Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports