Mavericks Triumph Over Trail Blazers Despite Irving's Injury



by FARUK IMAMOVIC

Mavericks Triumph Over Trail Blazers Despite Irving's Injury
© Getty Images Sport/Stacy Revere

Luka Doncic's stellar performance, featuring 32 points and 10 assists, was pivotal in the Dallas Mavericks' 125-112 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night. The win came despite an injury scare involving Kyrie Irving, a key player for the Mavericks.

Irving sustained a foot injury in the second quarter, which forced him out of the game and left the Mavericks to adjust their strategy. With just under four minutes remaining in the second quarter, Irving was fouled by Portland center Duop Reath.

During the ensuing play, teammate Dwight Powell inadvertently stepped on Irving's foot, causing him to remain on the floor for several minutes. He was then examined by the Mavericks’ training staff and ruled out for the remainder of the game.

Notable Performances and Game Dynamics

Dante Exum stepped up for the Mavericks, contributing 23 points. Hardaway added 20 points off the bench, while Doncic also grabbed six rebounds. Coach Kidd praised Exum's performance, noting his ability to play both ends of the court effectively.

"He was big," Kidd said. "To have to start and play both ends, I thought he did a great job defensively. We lost (Irving), and Dante did a really good job." On the Trail Blazers' side, Anfernee Simons, returning from right thumb surgery, put up 30 points, eight assists, and five rebounds.

Shaedon Sharpe and Toumani Camara also made significant contributions, with Sharpe scoring 24 points and grabbing nine rebounds, and Camara adding 14 points and nine rebounds. Portland coach Chauncey Billups acknowledged his team's resilience against the Mavericks' strong shot-making.

"I thought we responded well,” Billups said. “They had some really good shot-making, but we stayed in there and made it a game. We just could never really get control”. The Mavericks maintained the lead throughout the game, with Portland making several attempts to close the gap, even cutting the lead to one at one point.

However, Dallas successfully fended off these challenges. “We took their best punch when they cut the lead,” Hardaway remarked. “We weathered the storm. It was a team effort."

Luka Doncic