SACRAMENTO — Luka Doncic is expected to play alongside his new All-Star backcourt partner Kyrie Irving for the first time Saturday night.
Doncic was upgraded to probable for the second game of a road back-to-back against the Sacramento Kings after missing the past four games with a right heel contusion.
The Mavs, who lost the first seven games that Doncic missed this season, are on a three-game winning streak. That includes wire-to-wire victories over the LA Clippers and Kings in the two games since Irving joined the Mavs following a blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets.
Doncic, who leads the NBA in scoring at 33.4 points per game, and Irving (27.0) will form one of the league’s most explosive offensive duos.
“I never played with a guy like Kyrie, so it’s obviously going to be a work in progress,” said Doncic, who also ranks seventh in the league in assists with 8.2. “But I think it’s going to be fine. We both can play on the ball. For me, I think it’s going to be a learning process, for sure. Outside of my first season, I didn’t play off the ball. But with a guy like him it’s going to be different.”
Irving, who has averaged 24.5 points and 7.5 assists in two games with the Mavs, is accustomed to playing alongside other superstars, having been teammates with LeBron James and Kevin Durant, among others.
He is eager to play with Doncic and figure out how they can mesh.
“I’m excited to see how that looks like,” Irving said. “As much as we can make the game easier for each other and keep the pace going, that’d be a benefit for us. I’m looking forward to seeing what that looks like with Luka out there and me running the wing, just shooters getting to their spots and then if we don’t have anything, just settling into half court. We’ve got some great options out there.”