‘Fear It’s Severe’: Powell Lost to Injury as Mavs Bullied by Clippers in 110-107 Home Loss
DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks welcomed back star big man Kristaps Porzingis on Tuesday night, after a 10-game absence with left knee soreness.
Unfortunately for Dallas, it wasn't enough, as they were bullied by the Clippers in a 110-107 loss at the American Airlines Center.
"I thought we competed extremely well and real consistently," Rick Carlisle said. "[Kawhi] Leonard had an amazing night and just overpowered us in a lot of situations. We double-teamed him some and did some other things, but he is just a great player. We needed to be just about perfect in the second half and we had a chance."
Despite shooting just 1-of-9 from three, Kawhi Leonard showed exactly why he is arguably the best basketball player on the planet, having a field day against the Mavericks defense on the way to scoring 36 points and grabbing 11 rebounds with three steals and two blocks.
Mavs star Luka Doncic did his best to combat the onslaught from Leonard, scoring 36 of his own, to go along with 10 rebounds and nine assists, but it wasn't enough as only three other Mavs finished in double figures for the game.
Porzingis was one of those players, but he had a rough night in his return, hitting just 4-of-17 from the field and scoring 10 points with nine rebounds.
“I was eager to get back on the court," Porzingis said. "Something unfortunate that happened with that little injury but I’m glad I’m healthy again and that’s it. It just sucks that we weren’t able to get a win. I feel like if I would’ve played just a little better, we would’ve won the game. This loss is on me and that’s how I feel."
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 13 on the evening, and Boban Marjanovic added 12 points and seven boards of his own.
Perhaps more importantly, however, Dallas lost a key contributor early in the first half in Powell, when he exited the game with a likely season-ending Achilles injury after just nine minutes of action.
Powell was in the midst of a great stretch for Dallas, averaging 13.2 points and 6.7 rebounds in the month of January. He’ll undergo an MRI as Dallas is prepared for the worst here.
"He is going to have an MRI tomorrow," Carlisle said. "It is a right Achilles injury. It fears to be severe, but we won’t know for sure until they do a diagnostic test on it. But it is a real tough one."
With one of the most important cogs of their offense now gone, Dallas will have to figure out a way to replace not only his invaluable contributions to their offensive scheme but his seemingly limitless energy and the stabilizing force he contributed to the team psyche.
“He is a constant," Carlisle said. "He is a constant team-first guy. He is a constant worker. He is a constant everything. Guys like him define the culture that we want here. It doesn’t get much tougher than this if it ends up being what we fear it might, but he will be back regardless. There are just some guys you know have that level of resourcefulness; they have that fight in them. [J.J.] Barea is one of them, Powell is another. He will be back.”
The Mavericks (27-16) will be back in action on Thursday night when they travel west to take on the Portland Trailblazers at the Moda Center for their third matchup of the season.
The two teams last faced off on Friday night, with the Doncic out-gunning Damian Lillard en route to a 120-112 win in Dallas. The Blazers won the first matchup in Dallas, however, in a 121-119 decision.