NBA·CANADIANS IN NBA

Canadian Dwight Powell doubtful for Olympic qualifier after ruptured Achilles

Dallas Mavericks centre Dwight Powell has suffered a rupture of his right Achilles tendon and is weighing his surgical options, the NBA team said in a release Wednesday.

Mavericks centre weighing surgery options following non-contact injury

Dallas forward Dwight Powell, from Toronto, stumbles after sustaining a right Achilles injury during the Mavericks' loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday. (Richard W. Rodriguez/The Associated Press)

Dallas Mavericks centre Dwight Powell has suffered a rupture of his right Achilles tendon and is weighing his surgical options, the NBA team said in a release Wednesday.

The Toronto native was injured in the first quarter of the Mavericks' 110-107 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.

Powell went down with a non-contact injury with 2:57 left in the first quarter. He was helped to the locker room while putting no weight on his right leg. Teammate J.J. Barea, who tore his right Achilles tendon last season, was distraught as Powell was taken off the court.

"It doesn't get much tougher than this, if it ends up being what we fear it might," Carlisle said. "But he will be back, regardless. There's just some guys you just know, they have a level of resourcefulness, a level of fight in them. Barea's one of them. Powell's another. He'll be back."

Teammate Luka Doncic summed up a sombre Mavericks' locker room in talking about Powell's presence on the team.

"Off the court and on the court, he gave us a lot," Doncic said. "He's a great guy. He doesn't deserve this."

'He's great for the locker room'

The injury came on the same night 7-foot-3 forward Kristaps Porzingis returned after missing 10 games because of a sore right knee. Powell averaged 13 points on 71 per cent shooting in the games Porzingis missed and was proving to be an effective sidekick. Both have been starters when healthy.

Porzingis can relate to Powell, as he came back this year after missing a season-and-a-half with a torn ACL.

"Dwight has a really good mindset, a really strong mindset," Porzingis said. "He's going to be fine throughout the rehab if we get the worst news. He'll be around, I'm sure. He's great for the locker room. He's great for the culture that we're trying to create."

Powell, in his sixth season in the NBA, has averaged nearly 10 points and six rebounds a game in 39 previous games. He had increased his scoring average over each of his first five seasons.

Powell has played all but five of his 371 career games for the Mavericks, arriving from Boston in a five-player trade in December 2014 that also brought point guard Rajon Rondo. Rondo's style clashed with Carlisle, but Powell's energy and productivity in the paint has made him a favourite of the coach.

Powell, who signed a three-year, $33.3-million US contract extension last summer that kicks in next season, has been shooting 69.5 per cent and averaging 13 points over the last 10 games since Porzingis has been out. Carlisle has credited Powell as "one of the most opportunistic guys that we've had at this franchise."

"He's a soldier for this franchise," Carlisle said at a press conference on Monday. "He's a soldier for his teammates, and a great desire burns within him to improve his game and help his teammates win."

Another Canadian nets a triple-double  

Minnesota forward Andrew Wiggins of Vaughan, Ont., became the second Canadian in a week to record a triple-double with 18 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in the Timberwolves' 122-112 loss to visiting Toronto on Saturday.

Hamilton's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 20 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in the Oklahoma City's Thunder's 117-104 win over Minnesota on Monday. The only other Canadian to get a triple double is Hall of Famer Steve Nash, who did it three times in his career.

Happy New Year 

Memphis forward Dillon Brooks of Mississauga, Ont., is averaging 21.6 points and shooting 45.3 per cent from the three-point line over nine games so far in 2020. He put up 31 points — tying a season high — and added nine rebounds, four assists and two steals in the Grizzlies' 126-116 loss to New Orleans on Monday.

T'd up Tristan

Cleveland centre Tristan Thompson was ejected in the third quarter of the Cavaliers' 113-109 loss at Memphis on Friday when he tried to pat Grizzlies forward Jae Crowder on the backside and received his second technical foul of the game. "A lot of barking and no bite, we will leave it at that," Crowder said after the game.
Thompson's ejection came during a frustrating stretch that saw him score three points on 1-for-10 shooting over two games. He has since bounced back, including a 13-point, 22-rebound performance in a 106-86 loss to New York.
Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves and other Canadian NBAers continue to set the bar this season. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Checking in 

Montreal's Luguentz Dort made his first career start on Monday, putting up eight points, two assists and two rebounds over 32 minutes to help the Thunder to a 112-107 road win over Houston. ... Miami centre Kelly Olynyk of Kamloops, B.C., has had a tough start to the new year, averaging 3.7 points and shooting an uncharacteristically low 18.2 per cent from three so far in January. ... Sacramento guard Cory Joseph of Pickering, Ont., has been shooting 45 per cent from three this month.

Keep an eye on triple-double threats Gilgeous-Alexander and Wiggins. The pair face off Saturday when the Timberwolves host the Thunder. Gilgeous-Alexander had his monster 20-20-10 game the last time these teams met.

With files from The Canadian Press

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