The Dallas Mavericks survived a furious comeback to defeat the Boston Celtics 113-108 on March 31. Luka Doncic had one of his best halves of the season as the Mavs built a 23-point lead, but Boston would not quit. Kristaps Porzingis played just two minutes in the fourth quarter as the Celtics went on a run.
Fans were thinking the worst as Boston made a comeback without Porzingis on the floor. They cut it to two with under a minute to go, but Luka was not going to let the game slip away. Jalen Brunson came through in the clutch to give the Mavericks their 25th win of the season.
Was KP’s benching an ominous sign moving forward? Should Dallas supporters be worried he will be taken out of the game in the playoffs? Here is a look at three reasons why there should be no worries about the Unicorn.
Dallas Mavericks bench Kristaps Porzingis in fourth quarter due to matchup
KP had to start the final period on the bench. He played all but the final 33 seconds in the third quarter. Just as it would have been time for Porzingis to return, the Celtics shifted to playing Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, and Evan Fournier. The Unicorn would have struggled defensively in any matchup. Coach Rick Carlisle explained after the game.
"“They were very small, and it would have been a very tough defensive thing for him to guard Marcus Smart. That was the guy he was going to have to guard. I did put him in with a little over four minutes left. I did want to get him back in the game, but the matchups were extremely difficult.”"
Carlisle continued to talk about his communication with KP and how the Celtics made it challenging to give him any run. Expect Porzingis to return to his normal workload against his former team on Friday night.
The matchup forced coach Carlisle to switch it up, but that is not the only reason Dallas Mavericks fans should have no worries about Kristaps Porzingis moving forward.
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