Luka Doncic debuts at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with 48 points against Argentina

The Dallas Mavericks All-Star nearly breaks Olympic single-game record of 55 points as Slovenia win Games debut in men's basketball. Doncic & Co. next face hosts Japan on Thursday.

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Luka Doncic picked up right where he left off in the NBA playoffs.

Doncic made his Olympic Games debut in emphatic fashion on Monday (26 July), dropping 48 points on Argentina to lead Slovenia to a 118-100 victory.

The Athens 2004 champions simply had no answer for the Dallas Mavericks star, who shot 18/29 from the field and added 11 rebounds to go with five assists.

Doncic was 6-for-14 from downtown and had 31 points in the first alone - 17 after the first quarter - as Slovenia marked their maiden Games appearance with a win.

"We had a lot of video, they have amazing players so it was really tough", said the two-time All-NBA first team selection. "But we played really well and played really good defense.

"I think it’s very special, not just for me but for all the team. It’s our first Olympics and we won our first game, and I think it’s very special for everyone on our team.

"It’s amazing to see al the stars in the Olympics. There are so many sports".

Doncic's 48 points were the second most ever in a single Olympic game. He could have easily had 50 points and a shot at Oscar Schmidt's Games record of 55 but exited for good with 4:35 remaining.

Asked if he was aware of the mark, Doncic did not seem to be bothered.

"I don't care about the record. We have to win and that's what we came her for", he said. "Three, four minutes left and we had the game won.

"It doesn't matter".

Luka Doncic
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Doncic the best player in the world'

Argentina coach Sergio Hernandez tipped his hat to Doncic, who he labeled "the best player in the world".

"It's really hard to analyse a game when one player dominates like Luka Doncic did", Hernandez said, shaking his head at the post-game press conference.

"We knew that he was going to score some points but it's difficult. He quickly figured out what our plan was and destroyed us. He made us change our strategy.

"It sounds like an excuse but we couldn't do much against a dominating player like him. He is the best player in the world - including the NBA.

"It's an honour to be here at the Games with him".

Argentina led very briefly early on, 5-3 about a minute into the game, but after that it was all Slovenia who never looked back until the final buzzer echoed throughout the Saitama Super Arena.

"Luka the Don" simply had his way with the South Americans, who were led by 41-year-old Luis Scola's 23 points with Denver Nuggets guard Facundo Campazzo chipping in 21.

Slovenia were up 62-42 at the break and led by as much as 30. They face hosts Japan, who were set to take on world No. 2 Spain in their first game, on Thursday.