The Dallas Mavericks managed to tie their first round series with the Clippers at 2-2 thanks to the heroics of Luka Doncic, whose 43 points, 17 rebounds, and 13 assists in Game 4 was punctuated with a stepback game-winner for the ages, sending the Mavs and the entire NBA world into a frenzy.
It was the kind of moment that will live on highlight reels forever, and what made the Mavs Game 4 performance so impressive was that they orchestrated a 21-point comeback without the services of Kristaps Porzingis. While Doncic has been able to play through his sprained ankle, Porzingis was a late scratch due to knee soreness in Game 4, and on Tuesday the team downgraded his status to officially OUT for Game 5 with the same issue.
Dallas' Kristaps Porzingis (knee) has been listed as OUT for tonight's Game 5 against the Clippers
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 25, 2020
Given Porzingis’ knee issues in the past, it’s understandable why he and the Mavs would be cautious with any soreness, but it certainly puts a damper on their hopes of pulling off the series upset. That said, with Doncic playing the way he is coupled with the emergence of some of the Mavs bench pieces like Seth Curry and Trey Burke taking on much larger scoring roles in this series, they’ve been able to manage. The bigger issue likely comes on the defensive end, where Porzingis was, by far and away, their best rim protector. They’ll have to continue upping Boban Marjanovic’s minutes, but his positive contributions almost all come on the offensive end.