40 Greatest Moments in Dallas Mavericks History #31-40: The Start of Luka Magic

The 2019-2020 NBA season marks the Dallas Mavericks’ 40th anniversary as an NBA team. This is the franchise’s 40th season, and man, have there been some great moments throughout those years!

We’re counting down the 40 greatest moments in Dallas Mavericks history. It wasn’t easy picking only 40. Any team that has had all-time great players like Dirk NowitzkiSteve NashJason KiddMichael FinleyMark Aguirre, and Rolando Blackman, just to name a few, is bound to have a library full of amazing moments.

Nevertheless, we’ve found the absolute greatest. Within this list, you’ll hear comments and first-hand accounts from some of your favorite Dallas Mavericks bloggers and podcasters.

We’ve broken this list into four segments, starting with numbers 31-40.

Greatest Moments in Dallas Mavericks Franchise History – #31-40

40. Luka Dončić Averages a 30-Point Triple-Double for an Entire Month (November 2019)

Yes, Luka Magic is already on this list. Luka Dončić is doing things that all-time great players did. In just his second season, Luka is already averaging nearly a triple-double, breaking legendary records, and is in the MVP conversation.

In November 2019, Luka averaged a 30-point triple-double. He averaged 32.4 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 10.4 assists. Only two other players have ever done that – Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook.

Luka had some notable games during this run, including a 35-point triple-double in 25 minutes against the Golden State Warriors (the fastest 30-point triple-double in NBA history) and a 42-point triple-double against the San Antonio Spurs, making him the second-youngest player to record a 40-point triple-double.

39. Dallas Mavericks Start the 2002-2003 Season with 14-0 Record

The 2003 NBA season was full of highs for the Mavericks. The team started 14-0, one win shy of tying the NBA record for the best start to a season. The Mavs finished that season with a record of 60-22. It was one of three seasons in Mavericks history where the team won 60 or more games. Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash made their second straight All-Star appearance. Even more exciting, the team made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in the Dirk Era.

This team was full of legendary Mavs and fan favorites: Dirk, Nash, and Finley (a.k.a. Dirty, Nashty, Filthy), Nick Van ExelRaef LaFrentz, and Eddie Najera.

38. Dallas Mavericks Hire Rick Carlisle as Head Coach in 2008

Every great team has a great coach. Rick Carlisle has coached some of the greatest teams in franchise history and was the mastermind behind the Mavericks’ Championship in 2011.

Under Rick Carlisle, the Dallas Mavericks have 7 Playoff appearances, a Conference Finals Championship, and an NBA Championship. It’s hard to imagine the Mavs having as much success without Carlisle as they have had with him. His defensive mentality and cutting-edge “flow” offense have been keys to the Mavericks’ winning ways.

37. Dallas Mavericks Win 7-Game Series Against the Sacramento Kings in the 2003 Western Conference Semifinals

After a 14-0 start to the season, the Dallas Mavericks had big goals in mind. But they were still considered a young, unproven team. In the Western Conference Semifinals, they faced the veteran Sacramento Kings.

Mavericks fans were ready for something big. And this series delivered. 83 points in one half. Clutch shots from Nick Van Exel and Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavs’ Game 7 victory over the Kings was a turning point in the franchise.

The Mavericks had arrived.

And they were gonna be here for a while.


More from Dallas Hoops Cast

36. Dirk Nowitzki Grabs 10,000 Rebounds

Did you know that Dirk is the only player in NBA history with at least 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 1,000 blocks, and 1,000 3-pointers?

Dirk always had a reputation for being a “soft” Euro, but he proved time and time again how ridiculous that label was.

Only 39 other players in NBA history have grabbed 10,000 rebounds or more. Dirk finished his career with 11,489 total rebounds, putting him at 26th all time.

35. Dallas Mavericks Win 17 Straight Games in the 2006-2007 Season, Setting the Record for the 7th Longest Winning Streak in NBA History

The Dallas Mavericks came out of the gate swinging in the 2006-2007 season. Embittered from the 2006 NBA Finals, the Mavs ran through opponents. Their 17-game winning streak was proof of their power.

  • Average margin of victory during the streak: over 13 points
  • Number of 15+-point blowouts: 9
  • Number of 20+-point blowouts: 6, including a 36-point blowout of the Lakers

We won’t talk about how this streak ended or who ended it. The point is, Dirk Nowitzki was the MVP that season and this was a special moment for the franchise.

(This is now the 16th longest winning streak in NBA histo

34. Dirk Nowitzki Sets the Record for Most Consecutive Free Throws Made in an NBA Playoff Game in the 2011 Western Conference Finals

This is the first time a moment from the 2011 Playoffs appears on this list. (It won’t be the last.)

Against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dirk proved his dominance. The Thunder’s core of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Serge Ibaka were no match for Dirk.

In Game 1 of the series, Dirk Nowitzki made 24 consecutive free throws, setting the record. He also made 12 of his 15 field goals. That means he missed only 3 of the 39 shots he took.

Dirk was unstoppable. The Thunder had no answer. And the team was on its way to history.

33. Avery Johnson Wins Coach of the Year Award in 2006

Avery Johnson had one of the best starts to a coaching career you could ask for. After taking over as Head Coach in March 2005, Johnson won the Coach of the Month award in his first two months on the job – the first ever to do so. He was the fastest coach to win 50 games and was the Head Coach of the Western Conference team at the 2006 NBA All-Star game.

The Dallas Mavericks won 60 games in the 2005-2006 season. Not bad for your first season as a Head Coach.

32. Dirk Nowitzki Scores 29 Points in the Fourth Quarter Against the Utah Jazz in 2009

Imagine a game where you only score 52 points in the first three quarters and shoot 32% from the floor. And the opponent goes on a 22-6 run to end the third quarter. And you’re down by 13 in the fourth quarter.

It would take a miracle to win, right?

Or a brilliant fourth quarter from Dirk Nowitzki, who made seven of his eight shots and all 14 of his free throws and set the franchise record for most points in a fourth quarter.

With Dirk, you felt like anything was possible. And sometimes, even the impossible happened.

31. Dallas Mavericks Trade for Luka Dončić in the 2018 NBA Draft

Luka Dončić has the potential to be an all-time great. If someone came from the future and said Luka was a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, you wouldn’t be surprised.

But he hasn’t done it yet.

Trading for Luka Dončić could go down as a top 10 moment in franchise history. His Rookie of the Year season was stunning. He’s already breaking records as a 20-year-old – records that were previously owned by guys like Magic JohnsonLeBron JamesMichael Jordan, and Oscar Robertson. And the Mavericks’ winning record is proof that he’s a special player.

How exactly did the Dallas Mavericks pull this off? Mike Fisher from Sports Illustrated and DallasBasketball.com shared his insights with

MIKE FISHER, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED / DALLASBASKETBALL.COM

“Someday, maybe the world will have a better grasp of the influence of Donnie [Nelson] (and Tony Ronzone) in the acquisition of Luka Doncic, which I believe was very much about a pre-planned comfort level forged long ago that would end up leading him here.”

Yes, Dallas Mavericks’ GM and President of Basketball Operations Donnie Nelson deserves a lot of credit for what he did to get Luka. It was a move that was literally years in the making.

Nick Angstadt from Locked On Mavericks explained why this move was such a huge moment for the organization.

NICK ANGSTADT, LOCKED ON MAVERICKS PODCAST

“Getting Luka confirmed that the Mavs’ rebuild was taking a real step forward. Dirk Nowitzki was like a Greek god who couldn’t be put to rest until his work was done. Luka has allowed Dirk to move on and know that his franchise has been left in a better place than how he found it. Plus, transitioning between eras is not an easy thing to do. It took the Bucks 40 years to replace Kareem with an MVP level Giannis. The Mavericks found a way to overlap their eras as soon as they traded up to draft Luka Doncic.”

Where will Luka’s career take him? Where will he lead the Mavericks?

The answer could be beyond our wildest dreams.

Those were some great moments, right? And we’re just getting started. Stay tuned for more of the greatest moments in Dallas Mavericks history.


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