February 28, 2024


The Dallas Mavericks picked up their 13th win of the regular season on Friday. But the 125-112 win over the Portland Trail Blazers proved to be costly, as Kyrie Irving exited the contest in the first half with an apparent foot injury.

Irving was fouled near the basketball late in the second quarter, causing the Mavericks point guard to fall to the floor. Irving’s teammate Dwight Powell then accidentally stepped on Irving’s foot. The eight-time All-Star was visibly in pain and remain down on the court’s hardwood for several minutes.

Irving was able to shoot a pair of free throw attempts. Sixth-year Mavs player Tim Hardawway Jr. then quickly drew a foul in order to give Irving an opportunity to substitute out of the game. Irving was taken to the locker room area for further evaluation. He was ultimately ruled out for the remainder of the game.

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Kyrie Irving shoots the ball

Dallas Mavericks point guard Kyrie Irving (11) shoots the ball past Portland Trail Blazers forward Justin Minaya (24) during the first half at Moda Center.  ( Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports)

Dallas coach Jason Kidd said the team will know more this weekend about the extent of Irving’s injury.

Dante Exum had 23 points for the Mavericks, and Hardaway scored 20 off the bench. NBA superstar Luka Doncic finished with a team-high 32 points and grabbed six rebounds.

“He was right there waiting at the door [of the locker room] when we came in,” Hardaway told reporters after the game. “He was good. Great spirits. Just happy that he’s OK. When we all got to the locker room and saw on social media how it looked, the pictures, obviously it didn’t look too good. … Hopefully he won’t be out long.”

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Anfernee Simons had 30 points, eight assists and five rebounds in his second game back from right thumb surgery for a Blazers team missing three starters. 

Malcolm Brogdon and Deandre Ayton were both out with right knee soreness, and Jerami Grant was sidelined for the second consecutive game as he remains in the NBA’s concussion protocol.

Kyrie Irving reacts during first half

Dallas Mavericks point guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts  during the first half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. (Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports)

Shaedon Sharpe added 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists for Portland (6-15). Toumani Camara had 14 points and nine rebounds.

“I thought we responded well,” Blazers coach Chauncey 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.”

Dallas led the entire way, and by as much as 19 in the first half. Portland made several pushes, even cutting Dallas’ lead to one in the second half, but was never able to break through.

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“We took their best punch when they cut the lead,” Hardaway said. “We weathered the storm. It was a team effort.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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