Kristaps Porzingis has been on a roll, but he had to exit early in the Mavericks’ 121-107 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night in Dallas.
Porzingis — who was traded from the Knicks a little more than a year ago — left briefly with 4:06 left in the third quarter when he suffered a bloody nose after being elbowed by Josh Jackson while going for a rebound.
He exited after Memphis broke a 71-all tie and rattled off 10 straight points. The Grizzlies’ run increased to 21-3 for a 92-74 lead with 1:22 left in the period, and they led by as many as 25 in the fourth quarter.
“It’s broken, but it’s OK,” said Porzingis, who still had 32 points and 12 rebounds for Dallas in his third straight 30-point game. “I really didn’t have a headache or anything.”
The former Knick’s impressive run has come while Dallas’ other star, Luka Doncic has been out. The Mavericks played their fourth straight game since Doncic, the second-year guard voted an All-Star starter, sprained his right ankle in practice last Thursday. They are 2-2 in those games and 4-5 this season minus Doncic, including the Dec. 14 game vs. Miami in which he left two minutes in with a sprained ankle.
As for Porzingis, the numbers he put up in the previous two games also were impressive.
The 24-year-old, two years removed from tearing his ACL, entered Wednesday coming off back-to-back performances with at least 35 points and 10 rebounds for the first time in his career. The broken nose he suffered likely stopped Porzingis from reaching the 35-point, 10-rebound mark for the third consecutive game.
On Friday, Porzingis recorded 35 points, 12 rebounds, two steals and a block in a loss to Houston. On Monday, he had 38 points and 12 rebounds in a win against the Pacers, hitting six 6-of-13 3-pointers and all 12 free throw attempts.
Porzingis had just one game of 35 points and 10 rebounds in his three seasons with the Knicks.
— with AP