Mavs’ Doncic leaves Warriors’ Green, Curry impressed

Luka Doncic of the Mavericks passes around Draymond Green of the Warriors on Saturday night.

It’s become more and more clear as the season progresses that Luka Doncic is a special player.

The Dallas Mavericks rookie cemented that feeling on Saturday night when he scored 14 points in the first quarter at Oracle Arena, the most by a rookie in a first quarter against the Warriors during Steve Kerr’s tenure at the helm.

Though he finished with 19 points in only 30 minutes because of a third-quarter injury in a 120-116 loss in Oakland, Doncic added three boards and dive dimes before banging his hip after crashing into a chair along the baseline.

Despite the limited minutes, Doncic made quite an impression on Warriors stars Draymond Green and Steph Curry.

“That dude [is] good,” Green, a former NBA Defensive Player of the Year, told reporters after the game.

“He got it. He is going to be a problem. He [is] already a problem. But he gonna be really good for a long time.

“You kind of have the questions like, ‘Oh, can he do that in the NBA like he’s doing it in the EuroLeague?’ He can.

“He’s exciting to watch. He’ll be good for a long time. He’s kind of lifted that franchise.”

Curry, a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, offered similar words of praise.

“He’s very talented. He’s smart, high-IQ guy, obviously,” Curry said. “[He] has a lot of confidence to his game, lot of swag to his game. He came out firing with some patented moves that he showed, but he’s a guy that just knows what he’s doing out there.

“Obviously, he’s a rookie, but he’s found a way to impose his will most nights, and it’s going to be good to see him develop in this league and a star.”

And Doncic “gets it,” too. A youngster was sitting in the chair in which Doncic crashed. The Slovenian teenager stopped playing to check on the young fan, then later presented him with his game jersey, signed, of course.