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Mavs' Josh Green Embracing 'Aggressive' Approach After Injury Return

Mavs wing Josh Green had his best performance after his elbow injury, scoring 18 points in the team's road win over the Warriors.

SAN FRANCISCO — Josh Green put together his best performance since returning from a right elbow sprain, recording 18 points and two assists in 25 minutes, contributing to the Dallas Mavericks' 132-122 road victory over the Golden State Warriors

With Kyrie Irving sidelined, Green made it a point to be aggressive as a scorer when the opportunity to do so came his way. He scored 12 of his points in spot-up, taking advantage of chances to play off the catch, along with scoring four points in transition on leak-outs. He even had a late clock isolation possession in the third quarter that featured him breaking down Brandin Podziemski off the dribble before finishing in the paint, helping to make a play with Luka Doncic on the floor. 

“I’ve always been the guy just waiting for my turn and trying to be the best teammate I can be,” Green said. “But I think a part of that is I need to understand that I can’t pass up open shots. So I just came out aggressive.”

Josh Green, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets

In his two previous performances since returning from injury, he scored a combined four points, shooting 2-7 from the floor and 0-3 from beyond the arc. Howver, he chipped in five assists in each of those performance. Against the Warriors, he got it going as a scorer, emulating the level of play he felt he was getting into rhythm playing at before becoming sidelined. 

“It’s unfortunate,” Green said. “I finally felt like I was getting into rhythm right before the injury. So I was kind of devastated about that. It’s always tough getting plugged into a team in the middle of a season off an injury, especially team is playing really well.”

Green mentioned he injured his elbow when going up for a dunk during the team's Dec. 1 loss against the Memphis Grizzlies. He played 31 minutes on the night attempting to play through it, but he knew something was wrong immediately since he couldn't shoot without experiencing pain. 

“It’s definitely an annoyance,” Green said. “But over time, I’ll start feeling better. The good part is the healing process is done. When I did it in the Memphis game, it was hard to play. I couldn’t shoot in the second half. It hurt a lot.

“I did it last year, which kind of sucked. But during the Memphis game, I kind of knew what happened, knew what it was.”

After being sidelined for 29 days, Green admitted he was antsy waiting to return to the lineup, with a lot of motivation to make an impact for the Mavs. 

“I’ve never been more antsy to get back and be able to play with a team,” Green said. “I’ve been super-motivated. It’s always good to be back. You don’t realize how much you love basketball until it’s taken away from you. I’m just happy to be back.”

Green has averaged 7.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in 21 games this season. After signing a three-year, $41 million contract extension, he will be leaned on to be an integral part of the rotation as he develops.