Kristaps Porzingis made his Mavericks debut on Wednesday night, marking his first return to NBA action following a 20-month absence.
The Latvia native scored 18 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and was a team-leading +13 in 19 minutes on the night, as the Mavericks fell to the Pistons 124-117.
🎥: We may have lost the game, but we got the first look at Luka & KP on the floor together...and we're PUMPED! Who else?! Check out all the game highlights from our second preseason game. #MFFL pic.twitter.com/gu1rYsJJtf- Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) October 10, 2019
In his preseason debut, Porzingis shot 7-18 from the floor, including 2-7 from beyond the arc.
"I was out for a while, so to be back out there on the floor, it felt good," Porzingis told reporters following the game in Detroit. "It felt pretty natural, you know?"
After tearing his ACL in February 2018, Porzingis, a number four overall pick by the Knicks in 2015, was traded to Dallas in January 2019 for a package that included Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and a pair of draft picks. This summer, he re-signed with the Mavs on a five-year, $158 million max deal.
Wednesday's game was also the preseason debut for Luka Doncic, the NBA's Rookie of the Year last season. The duo, who the Mavericks hope to build around as the team's core for years to come, combined for 39 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists in their first time on the floor together.