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Dereck Lively II leaves game with ankle injury against Trail Blazers

Lively hurt his ankle early in the first quarter before being ruled out for the remainder of the game

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks center Dereck Lively II (2) dunks the ball during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the American Airlines Center.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks’ rookie center Dereck Lively II hurt his left ankle during Saturday’s road game against the Portland Trail Blazers and will not return, according to the Mavericks.

After coming down on the foot of Portland Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant with 6:01 in the first quarter, Lively was helped to the locker room. Right before halftime, the Mavericks announced Lively would not return.

The team is officially categorizing it as a left ankle sprain.

It was a bad luck play, unfortunately, as both Lively and Grant were battling for a rebound under the basket — it’s just one of those things that happens.

With Maxi Kleber already on the shelf with dislocated toe and Richaun Holmes missing Saturday’s game with a non-COVID illness, Dwight Powell and Markieff Morris are about the only options left for the Mavericks’ frontcourt. That might get dicey against Deandre Ayton and Grant, who started the game by scoring Portland’s first 18 points on 8-of-8 from the field.

Dallas is also without guards Kyrie Irving and Josh Green. Irving was injured in last week’s game against Portland. The injury parade has been daunting, but it hasn’t interrupted the Mavericks much in the way of wins and losses yet.

However, the Mavericks are winless in games without Lively this year. We’ll all be watching the injury report closely to see whether he can go in the Mavericks’ next game, Monday at Denver.