With two highlight-factory superstars like Luka Doncic and Zion Williamson going toe-to-toe, you know this matchup was going to pack a punch.
The battle between two of the future faces of the NBA did not disappoint as Doncic went for a career-high of 46 points to outlast Williamson's career-high of 36 points and lead the Dallas Mavericks past the New Orleans Pelicans 143-130.
Williamson stole the show in the first half, going for 23 points while shooting a perfect 10-for-10 from the field. There wasn't a whole lot of defence being played as a whole in this contest and there is no better picture to depict the efforts on that end of the floor than Williamson's first-half shot chart.
Williamson was getting whatever he wanted at the rim, becoming the first player in Pelicans history to go 10-for-10 from the field in a half while also joining Derrick Rose as the only player 20 or younger in the last 25 seasons to accomplish the feat.
💪 @ZionWilliamson finished the first half 10-10 with 23 points!#WontBowDown | #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/V2uDcvUrQ5- New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) February 13, 2021
Williamson would go nearly 25 minutes of action before missing his first shot, a 3-point attempt that marked his only miss of the contest. He finished an unfathomable 14-for-15 from the field to notch his career-high 36 points.
Unfortunately for the Pelicans, his offensive output wasn't nearly enough to make up for the team's defensive mishaps as Doncic went wild in the second half to decide the game's outcome.
The All-Star guard had a modest 17 points and seven assists in the first half with the Mavericks riding Kristaps Porzingis' hot hand, matching Williamson's 23 points at the break. Doncic took the lid off the rim in the second half, lighting it up for 29 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter alone to close out the Pelicans.
Luka magic (46 PTS) with a new career-high ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/oZkFE1L2DX- NBA TV (@NBATV) February 13, 2021
Doncic's career-high 46 points came on shooting 17-for-30 from the field and 5-for-8 from 3-point range - one of his more efficient outings of the season. Also adding 11 assists and eight boards in a near-triple-double effort, Doncic became the first player in Mavericks franchise history to record 45 points and 10 assists in a game, according to StatMuse.
This performance came only six days after tying his former career-high of 43 points in a clutch win over the Golden State Warriors, as the MVP candidate's hot stretch has Dallas riding a much-needed four-game win streak.
And although Doncic and Williamson nabbed the headlines, Porzingis and Brandon Ingram came to play, too. Porzingis finished with 36 points and seven rebounds, while Ingram added 30 points, five boards and five assists.
With head-to-head matchups like this one between the 21-year-old Doncic and 20-year-old Williamson, the league is in good hands for years to come.
The views on this page do not necessarily represent the views of the NBA or its clubs.