Luka Dončić scores 73; Most in single game since Kobe's 81, Wilt's 100

Luka Dončić scored a franchise-record 73 points, tied for the fourth-most in NBA history and surpassed only by Wilt Chamberlain and Kobe Bryant, to power the Mavericks to a 148-143 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.

Dončić blew past his personal-best and team-record 60 points after scoring a team-record 41 points in the first half.

His record night came only four days after Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid scored a franchise-record 70 points, then the most in the NBA this season, in the 76ers’ 133-123 win over San Antonio on Monday night.

A three-point play with 2:58 remaining gave Dončić 70 points. With Dallas leading 140-136, Dončić added another three-point play to cap his night.

Against the team that drafted him in 2018, Dončić joined Chamberlain and David Thompson among players who scored 73 points. Chamberlain, who owns the NBA record with 100 points, also had a 78-point game, while Bryant finished with 81 points on Jan. 22, 2006.

The Mavericks rode Dončić’s big game to end their three-game losing streak while handing the Hawks their fourth straight loss. Dončić made 25 of 33 shots from the field, 8 of 13 3-pointers and 15 of 16 free throws. The field goals made set another personal record.

Trae Young led Atlanta with 30 points, including a 3-pointer with 5 seconds remaining that trimmed the Dallas lead to 146-143. Jalen Johnson added 25 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic had 24.

Dončić scored 23 points in the second quarter after opening with 18 points in the first.

Dončić, who averages 33.6 points, nailed a 3-pointer with 4:48 remaining in the third quarter, giving him a season-high 51 points. He then took aim on his career high of 60 points, also the Dallas record, set against the New York Knicks on Dec. 27, 2022.

The Hawks had no answer for Dončić. Jalen Johnson opened as Atlanta’s primary defender on the 6-foot-7 guard. Saddiq Bey, Dejounte Murray and others tried without success to slow Dončić’s high-scoring pace.

Dončić’s milestone game came in his original NBA home, at least for a few minutes.

Dončić was selected by the Hawks with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft before having his draft rights traded to Dallas for Young with the No. 5 pick and a 2019 first-round pick used to select Cam Reddish.

Dončić scored 41 points in the first half to set a franchise record for points in any half. He made 17 of 22 shots from the field, including 6 of 9 3-pointers, in the half.