3 Studs, 2 duds in Mavericks' first loss of the season to Nuggets

Dallas Mavericks v Denver Nuggets
Dallas Mavericks v Denver Nuggets / C. Morgan Engel/GettyImages
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1. Stud - Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic was almost named a dud in this article. He turned the ball over nine times, got caught playing lazy defense, and argued numerous calls.

His argumentative ways hurt the Dallas defense. There were several times when Doncic would argue with a referee over a controversial call on offense, completely neglecting his responsibilities as a defender. This is something that Doncic did often last year and this summer in the FIBA World Cup, but has been much better about it this year (until Friday's game against Denver).

On the bright side, Doncic still did Luka Doncic things. He recorded 34 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists. He knocked down six 3-pointers on a 54.5 percent clip. And despite a history of mediocre free-throw shooting, he made 6-of-7 freebies.

Doncic kept the Mavericks relatively close throughout the entirety of the game. He scored whenever the offense went stale and knocked down plenty of tough shots.

The Nuggets hadn't allowed more than 110 points in a contest this year. Behind Doncic's superb scoring and sensational passing, he continuously broke down the Denver defense to get himself and others good looks.

Doncic seems to be well on his way to a top-3 MVP finish. And perhaps more of a sure thing, Doncic is an early frontrunner for NBA Clutch Player of the Year.

Dallas' next game is on Sunday against the Charlotte Hornets at home. For all the latest on Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and the Dallas Mavericks this season, stay tuned.