Kristaps Porzingis “felt natural” as he returned to the court tonight for the first time since suffering an ACL injury in February of 2018, tweets Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com. Porzingis’ shot was rusty as he hit just 7-of-18 from the field and 2-of-7 from 3-point range. Still, he manged 18 points in 19 minutes, along with seven rebounds and two assists.
“All good,” he said afterward. “The main thing for me is to be calm. Be focused and be calm on the court.”
The game marked Porzingis’ debut in a Mavericks uniform and his first time playing alongside Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic, who led the team with 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
“It’s easy to play with him, super-easy,” Porzingis said. “The looks he got us and how much attention he draws away from me and everybody else, it makes it so much easier. I’m excited going forward.” (Twitter link)
There’s more from the Lone Star State:
- Mavericks guard J.J. Barea is back to normal nine months after surgery on a ruptured right Achilles tendon, Sefko writes in a full story. Barea didn’t accompany the team on its current road trip, but expects to play Friday night. “I’m feeling better than I thought I was going to,” he said. “I still got a way to go. But the more I play, the more I move, it gets better.”
- Chris Clemons is hoping his scoring prowess is enough to earn a roster spot with the Rockets, relays Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. The 5’9″ guard won’t get regular playing time in a backcourt that includes James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Eric Gordon, but he may catch on as an extra point guard or possibly on a two-way contract. “I’m just enjoying the opportunity I’ve been given and working every day to try to make this roster,” Clemons said. “Hopefully, I’ll make the roster and be a full-time NBA player. But that’s stuff I can’t control. I’m just playing my game.”
- The Spurs are limiting Dejounte Murray‘s playing time to 20 minutes per game as he works his way back from an ACL injury that cost him all of last season, according to Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. Coach Gregg Popovich said Murray has more gained trust in his knee after playing in two preseason games. “We worry, as you would with someone who hasn’t played in that long of a time, but he went full bore with every minute we gave him,” Popovich said. “He got knocked down a couple times and twisted all around, and I think he gained a lot of confidence.”