Dallas Mavericks

Harden has high praise for Mavs’ Doncic: ‘He does a lot of things to impact the game’

The comparisons are easy to see to even an untrained eye.

Both James Harden, the reigning NBA MVP, and Luka Doncic, the favorite to take home Rookie of the Year honors, play with such finesse, poise, and a confidence seldom seen even at this elite level.

Harden, for one, doesn’t mind the comparisons to the rookie sensation.

“Yeah, he is great,” Harden said after Houston held on for a 94-93 victory over Dallas on Sunday. “He is great, not only because he has the ability to score the basketball, but he is a great passer as well. He uses his body very well. He rebounds the ball. He does a lot of things to impact the game.

“With this only being his first year, he’s got a long way to go but he is definitely on a great start.”

Harden, who entered the game averaging a league-best 36.6 points per game, was held to 20 points on 7 of 25 shooting, including 3 of 15 from 3-point land. He battled with foul trouble for most of the night and was also nursing a sore right wrist.

Doncic finished one assist shy of a triple-double with a team-high 19 points to go along with a career-high 15 rebounds, nine assists, two steals and two blocks.

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Sports editor William Wilkerson is back for his second stint with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He first worked at the paper after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin. He most recently was the Executive Editor of College-Team Sites for CBS Interactive/247Sports and has also worked at ESPN, Scout.com and the Austin American-Statesman.