Blazers at Mavs GAMEDAY: A Porzingis On-Court Reunion With Carmelo Anthony?
DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks play host tonight to the Portland Trail Blazers, both teams reaching the midway point of the NBA season on mini-rolls.
Dallas is in sixth place in the West with a 26-15 record and has won three straight games. Portland has struggled to a record of 18-24 and is in 10th place in the West but has won two straight.
"We dug ourselves quite the hole with inconsistent play, injuries, bad losses, lots of losses in a row," Portland's C.J. McCollum said after a stunning 117-107 win at Houston on Wednesday. "This was a game we needed to win. We need to win every game, honestly, going forward."
That goes for Portland if it wishes to climb into the playoff race, and it goes for Dallas if it wishes to correct its biggest flaw from the first half of the season, a weirdly mediocre 12-10 record at home.
These two teams played in Dallas in late October, and McCallum and running buddy Damian Lillard (25 points and five assists) powered Portland to a 121-119 win.
In that game, Mavs sensation Luka Doncic had 29 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists and three steals - the sort of boxscore-filling effort that has become standard for the second-year triple-double machine.
"These numbers are just crazy," Carlisle said of 20-year-old Luka's performance after Wednesday's 127-123 win at Sacramento, a game in which Doncic produced 25 points, 15 rebounds and a career-best 17 assists. "It's hard to fathom.''
It's also hard to fathom, frankly, what it is exactly that ails Kristaps Porzingis. Yes, we know it's "soreness'' in his right knee and yes, we trust trainer Casey Smith to oversee it, but ... it's almost as frustrating for us to watch KP's nightly on-again/off-again status as it is for KP himself.
"It's a big loss when a guy like that is out,'' said of Porzingis, who will try to play again tonight after missing nine games. "Our guys have done a good job of playing without him, but he's a difference-maker. And when you don't have a guy like that, you're going to feel the difference."
Porzingis will be one curiosity tonight. Another will be the rejuvenated Carmelo Anthony, the former star now with Portland who recorded 18 points and 12 rebounds in the win at Houston.
Anthony and Porzingis, of course were teammates with the Knicks. Mavs fans would enjoy an on-court, in-game reunion tonight at the AAC.