And the Dallas Mavericks sure could have used him as they lost, 107-91, two nights after they went to New Orleans and hammered the Pelicans, 139-107.
“He bumped knees (Wednesday) with someone in the game,” coach Jason Kidd said of Porzingis. “He’s out today and we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”
Earlier this season, Porzingis missed five games from Oct. 28-Nov. 3 with lower back tightness. And with center Willie Cauley-Stein sitting out his third straight game Friday for personal reasons, that put an indelible strain from the Mavs’ big men perspective.
“If one (big man) is out, we’ve got a couple that can fill his spot,” Kidd said. “Sometimes it’s alright to have a big (man) out.
“When you look at what Boban (Marjanovic) has done for us this season, he probably should be playing 25-30 minutes a night. His usage rate is high, and he’s delivered for us on both ends, so he should be playing more.”
Dwight Powell started at center Friday and contributed five points and one rebound in 19 minutes, and Marjanovic had four points and three rebounds in eight minutes. The Mavs’ other big man – Maxi Kleber – started and finished with 13 points and nine boards in 31 minutes.
Porzingis’ status for Saturday home game against Memphis is unknown.
Kidd said: “We would like (Porzingis) to play, so is it a big deal? It’s not a big deal — next man up. We would like to be healthy.
“Every time we seem to get someone back, we lose someone.”
KIDD PLEASED WITH STERLING: Stat-wise, Sterling Brown hasn’t exactly set the basketball courts on fire. However, he’s just what the doctor ordered for the Mavs.
“When you look at what we’re asking him to do and where he was a year ago in Houston and just understanding what we’re asking, I know him personally,” coach Jason Kidd said. “We believe what you see is what you’re going to continue to see and do it on a consistent basis.”
Brown, who signed a free agent contract with the Mavs Aug. 10, entered Friday’s game averaging three points and 3.2 rebounds in 12.2 minutes.
“He seems comfortable shooting the ball,” Kidd said. “And not just settling, but being able to go to the paint and look for a teammate and being very unselfish.
“So he’s just taking what’s there. He definitely gives us some toughness, and he can play multiple positions. We’re happy with the development and for him feeling comfortable.”
BRIEFLY: The Mavs used three timeouts in the first quarter – one when Tim Hardaway Jr. hobbled off the court with a right quad contusion – and only had four timeouts left for the remainder of the game. . .All New Orleans all the time? The Mavs played the Pelicans in New Orleans on Wednesday. The Dallas Cowboys played the Saints in New Orleans on Thursday. And New Orleans (Pelicans) played the Mavs in Dallas on Friday. By the way, there’s no truth to the rumor that the Cowboys will be playing New Orleans on Saturday. . .When they set a franchise record for field goal percentage in Wednesday’s game against the Pelicans at 68.7 percent, the Mavs missed 26 field goals the entire game. On Friday, they missed 22 shots – in the first half, and their 27th missed shot occurred with 8:41 remaining in the third quarter. . .Former Mavs guard Jerry Stackhouse was in attendance at Friday’s game. Stackhouse, who played for the Mavs from 2004-’09, is now the head coach at Vanderbilt. . .Guard Frank Ntilikina suited up for the first time after missing four games with a right calf strain. Ntilikina, however, was the only Mavs who suited up that did not play against the Pelicans. “Frank was playing at a high level for us defensively and offensively,” coach Jason Kidd said. “When you look at our rotation, Trey Burke is playing at a high level for us. So someone is going to have to sit or someone is not getting minutes.” Burke played eight minutes Friday and scored two points on 1-of-5 shooting. . .On Tim Hardaway Jr. out of the starting lineup for the second straight game, Kidd said: “I talked to him about it and he was all for it. He’s done it before, so it just shows he’s a true pro and for whatever the team needs.”