Doncic, Zion hit career highs as Mavs top Pelicans
DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic scored a career-high 46 points, Kristaps Porzingis added 36 and the Dallas Mavericks overcame Zion Williamson's career-best 36 points in a 143-130 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night.
Doncic, who also had 12 assists and eight rebounds, connected on three of four Dallas 3-pointers in just 93 seconds as the Mavericks made 13 of their first 15 shots in the third quarter. The Mavericks matched their season best with a fourth consecutive victory and beat the Pelicans for the fifth straight time.
Williamson set a New Orleans franchise record by making all 10 of his shots in the first half and finished 14 of 15. His only miss was a wide-open 3 early in the second half.
Brandon Ingram scored 30 for the Pelicans in what was supposed to be the second meeting with Dallas this season. The first, scheduled for Jan. 11, was postponed because of COVID-19 issues.
The Pelicans gave up a franchise-record 25 3-pointers for the second consecutive game, this time while allowing the most points they have this season. Chicago made 25 in its 129-116 victory two nights earlier.
Porzingis, who finished three points shy of his most since coming to Dallas in the blockbuster trade with New York in 2019, set a career high for any half with six 3-pointers before halftime. Four of them came in the first five-plus minutes.
The 7-foot-3 Latvian was 8 of 13 from long range as Dallas shot 56% (25 of 45) from beyond the arc after coming in second-to-last in the NBA in 3-point percentage.
Doncic tied a franchise record shared by Mark Aguirre and Dirk Nowitzki with his 13th consecutive game of at least 25 points.
The Slovenian sensation, who tied his career high of 42 in a recent scoring showdown with Golden State star Stephen Curry, was 17 of 30 from the field, including 5 of 8 from 3, and went 7 of 9 on free throws. Doncic, the third overall pick in the 2018 draft, has won both meetings with Williamson, the top choice from a year later.
The Mavericks were up 108-104 early in the fourth quarter when a dunk from Willie Cauley-Stein started a 15-4 run for a 123-108 lead. Tim Hardaway Jr. finished it with a 3-pointer.
Pelicans: New Orleans lost a second straight game coming off a four-game winning streak, the longest of the season. ... Eric Bledsoe made all four of his 3-point attempts and scored 16 points. ... Lonzo Ball had 12 points and seven assists.
Mavericks: Doncic has at least 10 assists in all seven of his career 40-point games. That's the most such games to start a career in NBA history. ... Dallas shot 58%, finishing above 50% for the third consecutive game while improving to 7-0 when scoring at least 120 points. ... Dorian Finney-Smith scored 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting from long range.
Pelicans: The third game on a four-game road trip is Sunday at Detroit. The teams split the two-game series last season, but the Pelicans have won 13 of the past 16 meetings.
Mavericks: The Trail Blazers visit Sunday in the sixth game of a seven-game homestand. The last nine meetings have been decided by single digits. Portland's Damian Lillard scored 61 points in the most recent meeting in the Florida bubble.
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