Friday night’s game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Dallas Mavericks served as a perfect example of the modern NBA (for better or worse on defense), and served as a reminder that the league is in great shape for years to come, thanks to ridiculously skilled — and fun — young stars.
Dallas won the game 143-130 (that’s 273 total points scored), and set a franchise record with 25 three-pointers made (25-of-45, 55.6%). This comes one game after the Pelicans allowed the Chicago Bulls to make a franchise record 25 three-pointers on Wednesday. That’s 50 three-pointers allowed by the Pelicans over the last two games, the most three-pointers ever allowed by an NBA team in a two-game span. So, that’s an alarming issue for the Pelicans’ defense.
Luka Doncic — who entered this season as the NBA MVP favorite — scored a career-high 46 points, to go with 12 assists and eight rebounds. The 21-year-old made 17-of-30 shots from the field and 5-of-8 on triples.
Kristaps Porzingis, 25, scored 36 points for the Mavericks, with a career-high eight three-pointers made (8-of-13).
While the Pelicans were on the losing end, they got an absolutely absurd performance from second-year star Zion Williamson. The 20-year-old made 14-of-15 shots from the field (to go with 8-of-11 at the line), was a Pelicans record 10-of-10 on field goals in the first half, and finished the night with a career-high 36 points.
And let’s not ignore the performance of 23-year-old Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram, who had 30 points (and is averaging 23.9 points on the season.
— FOXSports NewOrleans (@FOXSportsNOLA) February 13, 2021
This is the first game in NBA history featuring four players age-25 or younger scoring 30-plus points.
Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram all scored 30+ points Friday.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 13, 2021
As for the win-loss impact, Dallas — viewed as a sneaky title contender entering the season — is finally on a nice run, with wins in four straight games. They’re still below .500 (13-14) and 1.5 games out of the eighth season in the Western Conference, but there’s plenty of season left, and Doncic and Porzingis are showing that they can be a lethal duo.
The Pelicans fall to 11-14, and really, really need to get their defense figured out. But at least they have Zion and Ingram: that’s a great start to figuring things out long-term.