The Dallas Mavericks played seven straight games without Kristaps Porzingis, but he returned from his stint in the health and safety protocols on Jan. 15. It was the Unicorn’s first game in 2022 as he rested in one contest before spending nearly two weeks on the COVID-19 list. There was some question if KP would even play on Saturday night, but the All-Star big man rewarded the Mavs decision.
Porzingis showed no rust as Dallas dominated the Orlando Magic 108-92 at the American Airlines Center. Both teams were on the second night of a back-to-back, but KP's return gave the Mavs some extra energy. It was an impressive performance from the Unicorn given his lengthy absence.
Porzingis had it going early against the rebuilding Magic and never slowed down. Here is a look at his performance on Jan. 15, and what MFFLs can expect from the Unicorn moving forward.
Kristaps Porzingis shows zero rust as Dallas Mavericks clobber Magic
Porzingis cleared protocols on Saturday morning, and he had not even practiced in two weeks. Fans saw Luka Doncic show some rust after his stint on the COVID list, but KP hit the ground sprinting. He scored the first basket of the game and followed it up by finishing this alley-oop less than three minutes into the game.
Head coach Jason Kidd wanted to keep his minutes under 30, so the stints were shorter for the Unicorn on Saturday night, but he made an impact every time. Porzingis had 12 first-quarter points to prove to everyone he was back and ready to help the Mavs stay hot.
The 7’3 big man finished with 19 points, seven rebounds, one steal, and one block in 28 minutes of action. He shot four of eight from the field and made nine of his 12 free throws as the Mavericks outscored the Magic by 14 with KP on the floor.
The Mavericks defense had another dominating performance on Jan. 15. They have won eight of their last nine games, and just twice in the last ten has the opponent scored more than 100 points. Dallas’s defensive improvements are here to stay, and they keep churning out impressive performances.
Porzingis was far from the only standout in Saturday’s win over the Magic. Luka had 23 points and nine boards with Jalen Brunson chipping in 19. The Mavs kept Maxi Kleber in the starting five next to KP, and that group dominated Orlando on Jan. 15.
The Dallas Mavericks continue their five-game homestand on Monday night as they host the Oklahoma City Thunder. Luka and company will be expecting to win their third straight, and fans won’t want to miss that contest, so please tune in and enjoy.