The Dallas Mavericks came out firing against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night. Both teams were shorthanded and had multiple players in the health and safety protocols. Kristaps Porzingis took full advantage for Dallas as he led the Mavericks to a 132-117 win on the road.
KP was locked in from the opening tipoff on Dec. 27. He had a 24-point first half that marked the third time this season that he dropped 20-plus in the opening 24 minutes. Porzingis had his entire skill set on display in Portland.
The Unicorn was efficient and effective in making his All-Star case on Monday night as the Mavericks blew out the Blazers. Here is a closer look at his night, and what it could mean moving forward.
Kristaps Porzingis makes All-Star case as Mavericks dominate Blazers
All-Star voting opened on Christmas night, and Porzingis wasted little time making his case to be included in the game. He was all over the floor as he led the Mavs to win with superstar Luka Doncic and five others players in the health and safety protocols. It was a Unicorn night for KP as he was blocking shots and knocking down deep threes.
Porzingis produced a season-high 34 points on 12 of 21 from the field. He also chipped in nine rebounds, five assists, two steals, and two blocks as the Mavericks outscored the Blazers by 19 in his 32 minutes of action.. His defense and playmaking were impressive on Monday night in Portland.
Hopefully, KP's three 3-pointers help him get his jumper back on track. He was shooting just 27.2 percent from long range coming into the game, but fans know he is a better shooter than that number suggests.
It was a fantastic performance from the Mavericks. They had 106 points in the first three quarters with 34 or more points in each. They moved the ball and made plays. It was not just KP that had a standout performance.
Josh Green returned from a stint in the health and safety protocols for arguably the best game of his NBA career. The 21-year-old had a career-high ten assists, and he became the third-youngest player in franchise history to drop double-digit dimes in a game. Green also produced nine points, four rebounds, and two steals as Dallas outscored the Trail Blazers by 15 in his 26 minutes.
Was Monday’s performance enough to keep Green in the rotation when the Mavs get healthy? It is something to monitor.
Dwight Powell had his first 20-point game of the season, and Dorian Finney-Smith finished 14 points, nine rebounds, and five dimes in the win. Jalen Brunson and Brandon Knight both stepped up to run the offense in a total team to win in Portland.
The Dallas Mavericks moved to 16-17 with their victory over the Trail Blazers as they head to Sacramento to face the Kings in two straight games. Kristaps Porzingis is poised to continue making his All-Star case, and superstar Luka Doncic could return to the lineup during the two games in the California capital. Fans won’t want to miss it, so please tune in and enjoy.