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James Harden (L) and Luka Doncic (R) Getty Images

KEY POINTS

  • Luka Doncic is one of the biggest stars in the NBA today
  • Doncic is compared a lot to former NBA MVP James Harden
  • Doncic and Harden both sang each other's praises after the Mavericks-Nets game last week

Perhaps no two other players in the NBA are compared to each other right now than Luka Doncic and James Harden.

Both Doncic and Harden are essentially point guards trapped in the bodies of two-guards, both can score at an unbelievable clip, both are elite playmakers, and both make use of a lethal step-back jumper.

Doncic and Harden are without question two of the biggest stars in the league today, and the two went head-to-head on Friday evening in Brooklyn.

Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks blew out Harden and the Brooklyn Nets, 115-98. The loss snapped the Nets’ eight-game winning streak.

Leading the way for the Mavericks was Doncic, who had 27 points, seven assists, and six rebounds. Harden, meanwhile, put up an almost-identical 29 markers, seven boards, and six dimes for the Nets, who were without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Following the game, Harden, a former NBA MVP, had some words of praise for the third-year Mavericks star.

“Luka Doncic, he plays at his own pace, and there are some similarities. He never lets anyone speed him up, and he gets what he wants,” Harden said, touching on the comparisons between himself and Doncic.

“That's rare for a guy at a young age. I think he's 21 years old, and to be able to dictate the game and control the game like he does. We all know he has a very, very bright future,” he continued. "The Mavs got a special one."

Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic is the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year. In this picture, Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks dribbles the ball against the Sacramento Kings at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, December 16, 2018. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Harden is just the latest to address Doncic’s greatness. Over the course of his three-year NBA career, the Slovenian has also been compared by experts and even former NBA stars to the likes of Magic Johnson, LeBron James, and most recently, Larry Bird.

While Doncic is certainly taking all these comparisons in, the young Mavericks stalwart understands and appreciates everything that is being said about him.

Following Harden’s comments, Doncic responded by giving “The Beard” his props as well.

"It's something you can't even describe if somebody like that says something about you," Doncic said. "It's just amazing. I really appreciate it. I watch him. He's an unbelievable player and just really special."

Doncic and the Mavericks currently occupy the No. 9 spot in the West with a 16-16 record. Harden and the Nets, meanwhile, are second in the East with a 22-13 record.

Both Doncic and Harden were selected to be 2021 All-Stars.

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