It’s next man up around the NBA, including the Dallas Mavericks. Due to health and safety protocols, Dallas was without Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber, Trey Burke, and Reggie Bullock.
The man that led the way for the Mavericks Monday night against the Portland Trailblazers(13-20) was Kristaps Porzingis. He scored 24 of his season-high 34 points in the first half to go along with nine rebounds, five assists, two steals, and two blocks as the Mavericks(16-17) defeated the Blazers 132-117 at Moda Center.
Porzingis’ 34 points was the highest-scoring game by a Maverick this season, and Dallas improved to 3-0 this season when he scores 30-plus points.
“After I missed the first three, I don’t know why, but I was like, ‘I know I’m going to make shots,'” Porzingis said. “It was straight on, a little bit short. The third one, I was already like, okay, ‘This is going in,’ and it was like in and out. End of the quarter, I was like, ‘I have to keep shooting. I know it’s going in…
“I just had that feeling that I’m going to make some shots, and now consistency is what I’m looking for.”
Mavs head coach Jason Kidd added on Porzingis: ‘”I thought (Porzingis) let the ball come to him tonight, he didn’t force anything. If they didn’t double, he went to score, and if they did, he found the open guy. I thought his rhythm was great from start to finish.”
Next man up was not just Porzingis. Brandon Knight, who appeared in his third game with the Mavericks, had 18 points (6-12 FG), five assists, three rebounds, and one steal; Josh Green had nine points to go along with a career-high 10 assists and a season-high-tying two steals, and Dwight Powell recorded a season-best 22 points.
Dallas continues their five-game road trip with a two-game set in Sacramento against the Kings starting Wednesday.
Watch below as Porzingis reacts to Dallas’ win over Blazers: