Dallas Mavericks

Kristaps Porzingis’ home debut for Mavericks lacks pizzazz, but others stepped up

It may have been Kristaps Porzingis’ first home game with the Dallas Mavericks but some of his teammates made their presence felt Friday night at American Airlines Center.

Porzingis, who was 4 of 13 from the field, including 1 of his first 5 — all 3-point attempts — played 23 minutes and finished with 11 points, five rebounds and three assists.

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He’s still working out the kinks from missing the past 18 months while recovering from a knee injury.

“I just missed open shots,” Porzingis said. “It would have looked way different if I had hit a few more shots early and got into a better rhythm. Slowly, we’ll figure it out and we’ll put this thing together.”

But other Mavericks made some noise in the home preseason opener, a 118-111 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

J.J. Barea played his first game since a torn right Achilles tendon sidelined him in January. He had three points in 12 minutes.

Justin Jackson came off the bench to score 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting, including 3 of 6 from the arc.

“I wanted to give [Barea] a long run tonight,” Mavs’ coach Rick Carlisle said. “This is the beginning in terms of real NBA action. We have two more [preseason] games, which are all important. We want to get everybody ready. We are going to need everybody.”

Center Boban Marjanovic, 31, made 6 of 9 shots and finished with 16 points and eight rebounds in 15 minutes.

Luka Doncic, who led Dallas with 21 points Wednesday in Detroit, finished with a team-high 27 in 23 minutes. He had 20 at the half and finished 5 of 8 from the arc. He made 10 of 11 free throws after going 5 of 10 against the Pistons.

Porzingis joked that he was almost “too open” on some of his early 3-point attempts.

“Wide-open looks, too. I almost want to work more for the shot. I’m used to kind of banging around a little more,” he said. “But if I’m open I’m going to take those shots and I’ve got to knock them.”

“It was awesome. For a preseason game I think it was great,” Porzingis said of the fan reception for his first game in Dallas.

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This story was originally published October 11, 2019 10:00 PM.

Stefan Stevenson has been covering sports for the Star-Telegram since 1997. He spent five years covering TCU athletics, which included two BCS bowls, two trips to the college World Series and the move to the Big 12. He has covered the Texas Rangers since 2014 and started reporting on the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.
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