The Dallas Mavericks spoiled Anthony Davis’ return for the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night with Dallas taking a 115-110 victory. It’s a potentially bittersweet win, however. Dallas lost its second-best player, Kristaps Porzingis, late in the third quarter to an ankle injury.
After the game, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle spoke about Porzingis’ injury. He’s optimistic that it won’t be a significant setback. Although at this point, there’s still plenty of uncertainty.
“[Porzingis’] left ankle — he rolled it [and we’re] uncertain as to the severity,” Carlisle said. “We’re hoping it’s not too severe. I don’t think he’s been ruled out for Saturday yet, but with ankles, a lot of it’s about how the player is feeling the next morning.
“We’ll see where he is tomorrow. He was in pretty good spirits after the game. He is walking. He’s not in a boot or anything at this point, although he has it wrapped with some elastic tape.”
With 2:41 remaining in the third quarter, Porzingis crashed the paint as Luka Doncic put up a leaning jump shot from the left elbow. Porzingis was putting himself into position for a possible offensive rebound. He made a slight jump as the shot went in, got a little tangled up with Lakers’ center Andre Drummond, and came down awkwardly on his left ankle as his momentum continued to carry him forward. Porzingis immediately fell to the court, clearly in pain. He left the game and headed back to the locker room a short time later.
“I am not certain whether an MRI will be in the offing,” Carlisle said. “Oftentimes, players will get diagnostic tests and it won’t be released to the media for HIPPA reasons, etc. Seeing him after the game, he didn’t seem to be feeling that bad, and he was in good spirits. My hope is it’s not a real bad situation.”
Porzingis’ latest injury is bound to elicit plenty of reactions. He has a history of getting hurt and has been methodically working himself back into form after undergoing surgery to address a lateral meniscus injury in his right knee that he sustained in Game 1 of the Mavericks’ first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers last season.
While he hasn’t looked right for much of the season—his lateral movement is questionable at best—he remains one of Dallas’ more reliable scoring threats. This season, Porzingis is averaging 20.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks. He’s also shooting the ball well at 47.4 percent overall and 36.3 percent from deep. Both marks rank him sixth on the team.
In over 28 minutes against the Lakers, he had 19 points and six rebounds while shooting 54.5 percent.
If he misses any significant time due to his left ankle, the Mavericks could struggle to make up for his lost scoring production. Most of the role players are streaky scorers. Hopefully, it’s a situation Dallas doesn’t have to confront.