GETTY IMAGES Image caption: Luka Doncic made his professional basketball debut for Real Madrid in 2015 before he moved to the NBA in 2018

Luka Doncic equalled the fourth-highest scoring performance in NBA history with 73 points as the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Atlanta Hawks.

The 24-year-old Slovenian broke the Mavericks’ record score of 60 he set against the New York Knicks in 2022.

Only the legendary Wilt Chamberlain (100 and 78) and Kobe Bryant (78) have scored more in 77 years of the NBA.

“It was just exciting. Sometimes I couldn’t believe it,” Doncic said after the Mavericks’ 148-143 victory.

Doncic notched 10 rebounds and seven assists. He connected on 25 of 33 shots from the floor – including eight three-pointers – and made 15 of his 16 free throws.

Chamberlain also had two scores of 73 in 1962 while David Thompson reached the figure in 1978.

Doncic became the 10th player in the NBA to score at least 70 points in a game after Joel Embiid beat the Philadelphia 76ers’ franchise record on Monday.

It is the highest score since Los Angeles Lakers legend Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in 2006.

Chamberlain’s century haul came for the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks in 1962.

Doncic ranked the performance “probably at the top” of his career as the game coincided with the fourth anniversary of Bryant’s death in a helicopter accident.

“We all loved Kobe. It feels special to be in that conversation with those names,” Doncic added.

Doncic’s display helped his side end a run of three straight defeats as Mavericks coach Jason Kidd hailed a “special” performance.

Kidd said: “His ability to make shots, create shots, find open guys, he did that at a high level tonight. I’ve said this before, we can’t take him for granted.

“Sometimes we are a little bit tough on him because of the wins and losses, but what he does on the court is different than anybody else.

“Every night is special. He always does something.”