So far, so good in the new era of Dallas Mavericks basketball.
Luka Doncic picked up where he left off in his Rookie of the Year campaign, and Kristaps Porzingis effectively knocked off the rust of a 20-month layoff in a combined 57-point effort in a season-opening win over the Washington Wizards.
It was a dominant showing that saw Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle pull his starters as Dallas carried a 91-68 lead into the third quarter. But the Wizards rallied in the fourth quarter, prompting Carlisle to put Doncic and Porzingis back on the floor, where they fended off the Wizards comeback for a 108-100 win.
Porzingis closes win with emphatic alley-oop
The late minutes gave Porzingis the opportunity to slam home an exclamation-point alley-oop that had fans at the American Airlines Center on their feet.
Doncic finished the night with 34 points, nine rebounds and three assists while hitting 12-of-19 field goals and 4-of-9 3-point attempts.
Porzingis — seeing his first regular-season action after suffering an ACL tear in 2018 with the New York Knicks — tallied 23 points and four rebounds while hitting 7-of-16 field goals and 3-of-7 3-point attempts.
It wasn’t vintage Porzingis, but it was a promising effort after missing the better part of two seasons.
“It's finally here,” Porzingis told reporters after the win. “I just want to enjoy the moment. I don't want to put too much pressure on myself when I'm out there. Most importantly I'm here to win. I'm not here to chase something individually.”
And the combined effort of the two Dallas stars in a convincing win gave a glimpse into the potential that has Mavericks fans hoping for a breakout season after years of rebuilding during Dirk Nowitzki’s decline.
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