Kristaps Porzingis Out for Mavericks vs. Lakers Because of Ankle Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2021

Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis (6) handles the ball against the New York Knicks during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, April 16, 2021, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis will miss his team's home game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday at American Airlines Center with a left ankle sprain.

"We believe [the ankle sprain] is not serious, but the decision for him to sit tonight was not a close call," Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle told reporters pregame.

KP left his team's game against the Lakers on Thursday after rolling his ankle while fighting for a rebound in the third quarter of the Mavs' 115-110 win. He did not return and will now miss at least one full game because of the injury.

Dallas will also be without guard Josh Richardson (right hamstring tightness).

Porzingis and Luka Doncic have formed a dynamic one-two punch for the Mavs, who have the potential to create some noise in the Western Conference playoffs. The versatile post player has averaged 20.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks across 39 games during the 2020-21 season.

Injuries are one thing that's held the 25-year-old Latvia native back over the years. He's never played more than 72 games in a season, which occurred when he was a rookie in 2015-16, and he missed the entire 2018-19 campaign while recovering from a torn ACL.

Dallas will likely use a rotation of reserves to fill the void whenever the 2018 All-Star is out of the lineup. Of note, Dwight Powell figures to see more playing time.

Porzingis is an important part of everything the Mavericks do at both ends of the floor, so it's impossible to fully replace what he brings to the table when healthy. The team will hope the aggregate production from the reserves is enough to keep it competitive until the center is back on the floor.