If you aren’t planning on watching the NBA All-Star Game this year, you can just pull up YouTube and watch the highlights from the offensive explosion in Dallas tonight. The Mavericks gave up 130 points but still won by double digits over the Pelicans. Final score: 143-130. Yikes.
The game started like most games do. There was a jump ball, some passes, a few shots, and a couple whistles. All of that continued through the first quarter, but then all of the normal stuff stopped. There were still passes, shots and whistles, but it felt like all of the shots went in. The Mavs scored a standard 27 points in the first quarter but then dropped 42, 39 and 35 in the next three quarters, respectively.
The Pelicans had consistently good offensive quarters as well, scoring 34, 31, 36 and 29 — numbers that usually result in a win — but they were traffic cones on defense. They couldn’t buy a stop, thus resulting in a double-digit loss.
Here are three things from the entertaining victory.
A good version of Kristaps Porzingis
Tonight’s version of Kristaps Porzingis is the one Mavs fans have been waiting for all season long, and it’s the one the Mavs front office envisioned pairing next to Luka Doncic (on the offensive end of the court, anyway).
Porzingis came out of the gate firing with absolutely no hesitation. He shot nine (nine!) threes in the first quarter and connected on four of them. His hot-shooting first quarter gave him the confidence he needed to keep looking for his shot as the game went on. He finished with an efficient 34 points and added seven rebounds.
KP was still a sieve on defense, but hey, the Mavs won, so we can just forget about that, right? Right?
Zion Williamson got literally whatever he wanted
Speaking of sieves, let’s usher in the entire Mavericks defense for this next segment!
Not only were the Pelicans scoring at will as a team, but the Mavericks were basically begging Zion Williamson to score on them. Williamson scored 36 points on 14-of-15 shooting from the field. His only miss? A three-point jumper. He was a perfect 14-of-14 shooting in the paint. Take a look at Zion’s shot chart from tonight’s game.
That’s embarrassing for the Mavs. You can’t even tell Zion attempted 14 shots that weren’t threes because all of the shots came from the same place — and they were all makes.
I know Zion is a once-in-a-generation type of scorer in the paint, but the Mavs weren’t even trying. They took lazy swipe after lazy swipe as Zion burst to the rim.
But again, the Mavs won, so it doesn’t matter, right? Right? Right???
Luka’s career night
The coolest part of tonight’s game wasn’t Kristaps Porzingis. It wasn’t either team getting whatever they wanted on offense. It wasn’t Zion Williamson living at the rim. It was Luka Doncic having arguably the best regular-season game of his young career.
Luka scored a career-high 46 points on an insane 17-of-30 shooting from the field and 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point land to go along with 12 assists and eight rebounds. He also only turned the ball over three times.
In anti-Zion fashion, Luka did a little bit from everywhere on the court. He blew by defenders and got to the rim whenever he wanted. He hit deep three after deep three. And he also was cooking from mid-range.
Check out this play. It’s probably the smoothest turnaround jumper you’ve seen in a while.
When Luka has it going from all three levels of the court, you might as well turn off the TV. It’s the Vince Carter GIF. It’s over.