Anthony Davis is back for the Los Angeles Lakers. Now the Dallas Mavericks have to see how long they might be without their big man, Kristaps Porzingis.
Luka Doncic scored 30 points, leading the Mavericks to a 115-110 victory over the Lakers on Thursday night as Davis was rusty after missing 30 games with right calf and heel issues, the longest absence of the eight-time All-Star’s career.
Porzingis left in the third quarter and didn’t return to the first of two consecutive games against the Lakers after spraining his left ankle.
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— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 23, 2021
”I’m not sure where to begin on this one,” said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, who said Porzingis hadn’t been ruled out for the rematch Saturday, also on national TV just like this meeting. ”A lot of ups and downs.”
Playing for the first time in nearly 10 weeks, Davis scored four points on 2-of-10 shooting while limited to 17 minutes in the first half only. Coach Frank Vogel said the plan was 15 minutes, but Davis said the range was actually up to 20.
Davis’ final act in the final minute of the first half was forcing Josh Richardsonto miss in the lane despite not even challenging the shot. Earlier he blocked a shot by the 7-foot-3 Porzingis and forced Doncic to throw up an air ball by closing on him.
”He impacts the game on both ends, but his defense was great,” Vogel said. ”He picked up right where he left off. He’s one of the best defensive players in the league when he’s got his legs under him and his conditioning.”
Davis, who had four rebounds, also missed two free throws while settling for jumpers but also failing to convert at the rim. His first bucket was a jumper from the top of the key after five misses.
Davis was shut down after a 122-105 loss at Denver on Feb. 14, when the 28-year-old in his ninth season played just 14 minutes to start an LA slide of five losses in six games.