The Dallas Mavericks will once again be down one of their stars in their first-round playoff series.
Big man Kristaps Porzingis has been ruled out for Game 5 against the LA Clippers on Tuesday night (9 ET, TNT), the pivotal game in a series tied 2-2. The former All-Star has been undergoing treatment for his sore right knee and as of Monday was expected to a game-time decision, per coach Rick Carlisle.
Kristaps Porzingis has been ruled out for tonight's game.
— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) August 25, 2020
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Monday that the MRI on Porzingis’ knee came back negative. Carlisle told reporters Monday he would not comment on questions about the MRI showing any structural issues, but said nothing on the MRI ruled Porzingis out for Game 5.
Porzingis was a last-minute scratch for Game 4 as the news came out after the Mavericks learned that guard Luka Doncic would play Sunday despite a left ankle sprain.
All Doncic did in that game was hit a game-winning, step-back 3-pointer in overtime to give Dallas a 135-133 win. In the course of that performance, Doncic netted 43 points, 17 rebounds and 13 assists for his second straight triple-double.
His theatrics helped the seventh-seeded Mavericks post their biggest playoff comeback win, overcoming a 21-point, second-quarter deficit. Their previous best was 19 against the Spurs in San Antonio during Game 5 of the 2003 Western Conference finals.
Porzingis is averaging 23.7 points and 8.7 rebounds in the Western Conference first-round series. He is coming off a Game 3 performance in which he had 34 points and 13 rebounds. It’s the first time a Dallas player has scored 30 or more points and grabbed 10 or more rebounds since Dirk Nowitzki in the 2011 NBA Finals.
The 21-year-old Doncic hurt his left ankle in Game 3. Yet he hardly looked hampered, going 18 of 31 from the floor in Game 4. He tested the ankle often, too, with jump stops, pivots and an impressive Euro-steps to gain separation.
The 7-foot-3 Porzingis has been dealing with a bruised left heel.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.