Feb 12, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) drives to the basket as New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) defends during the second half at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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.

This is the first game in NBA history featuring four players age-25 or younger scoring 30-plus points.

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.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.