The Dallas Mavericks will be without superstar point guard Luka Doncic when they host the Los Angeles LakersPorzingis tonight at 7:30 at American Airlines Center.

But at least the Mavs will have their second-best player to lean on. And if forward Kristaps Porzingis plays anywhere close to what he was able to accomplish in Monday’s 120-96 triumph over the Charlotte Hornets, the Mavs will have an excellent chance of upending the Lakers.

In Monday’s game, Porzingis tallied 24 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked five shots in an all-around spectacular performance. Those exceptional statistics put Porzingis in an exclusive class of three, as he joins Bill Walton and Hassan Whiteside as the only players since the 1973-’74 season to accumulate that many points, rebounds and blocks in the same game while playing under 26 minutes.

Porzingis, who played his 300th career game on Nov. 29 against Cleveland, played just 25 minutes and 17 seconds in Monday’s game. For the season, the seven-year veteran is averaging 19.5 points and 7.9 rebounds.



Time: 6:30 p.m.

Place: American Airlines Center, Dallas


Radio: The Eagle, 97.1 FM; Univision, 99.1 FM (Spanish)

Jalen rollingAbout the Mavericks: This is one of the biggest home games thus far this season for the Mavs. Unfortunately, they’ll be without their best player as point guard Luka Doncic will miss his third straight game while recuperating from left ankle soreness. . .Jalen Brunson will start again in place of Doncic. So far this season, Brunson has career highs in scoring (14.4 ppg), rebounds (4.4 rpg) and assists (4.8 apg). . .This is the finale of a short two-game home stand for the Mavs before they jet out to Minnesota to battle the Timberwolves on Saturday. The home stand started with Monday’s 120-96 blowout victory over the Charlotte Hornets. . .Trey Burke poured in a season-high 22 points and distributed a season-high six assists in the win over the Hornets. Burke was an efficient 9-of-14 from the field – 4-of-7 from behind the three-point stripe — in just 23 minutes. . .Tim Hardaway Jr. drained 5-of-11 baskets from three-point land and scored 19 points against the Hornets. In the previous four games, Hardaway was just 4-of-27 from downtown. . .Don’t look now, but the Mavs have been muscling up on the defensive end of the court lately. In their last six games, the Mavs allowed under 100 points in four of those games. And in the other two games, Brooklyn scored just 102 points and Indiana tallied only 106 points. The Mavs are seventh in the NBA in fewest points allowed at 111.5 ppg. . .Center Willie Cauley-Stein will sit out his 10th straight game because of personal reasons, and guard Sterling Brown is listed as questionable. Brown has missed the past five consecutive contests due to left foot soreness. . . Mavs coach Jason Kidd was an assistant coach with the Lakers the past two seasons, and won an NBA title with them in the bubble in 2020.

About the Lakers: Scheduled to practice Tuesday in Los Angeles before flying to Dallas, the Lakers ultimately canceled that practice session after guard Talen Horton-Tucker tested positive for COVID-19. Later on Tuesday, center Dwight Howard and guard Malik Monk also entered the health and safety protocols. Thus, all three players will miss tonight’s game. . .For the Lakers, this season can be described as a wild roller-coaster ride. The Lakers have had so many ups and downs this year. One minute they’re winning two or three games in a row and the next minute they’re losing two or three games in a row. In other words, the Lakers have been inconsistent at best while going through a verytrey disappointing season, considering their roster is stacked with so many current and former All-Stars. . .Much of what the Lakers do go directly through LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook. James is averaging 26.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg and 7.1 apg, Davis averages 24 ppg and 10.2 rpg, and Westbrook is averaging 19.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg and 8.4 apg. However, Davis is listed as questionable for tonight’s game with soreness in his left knee that caused him to miss the past two games. . .The Lakers are in sixth place in the Western Conference and only half-a-game ahead of the seventh-place Mavs. . .The Lakers were 1-2 against the Mavs last season, with the home team winning all three games. . .The Lakers are 5-6 on the road this season and 7-9 against Western Conference foes. . .While the Lakers are fifth in the league in scoring at 111.3 ppg, their defense has a series of gaping holes in it. In all, the Lakers are 26th in the 30-team NBA in points allowed at 111.5 ppg. . .The Lakers are also very loose with the ball as they’re currently ranked third in turning the ball over at 15.4 turnovers per game.

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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