NBA: Davis returns but Lakers fall to Mavericks, who lose Porzingis with sprained ankle

Anthony Davis looks to score as Dorian Finney-Smith defends in Dallas, US, on April 22, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Luka Doncic finished with 30 points, nine rebounds and eight assists to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 115-110 National Basketball Association (NBA) victory at home against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday (April 22) night.

The Mavericks (32-26) won their second in a row and tied Portland for sixth place in the Western Conference. Dallas moved to within two and a half games behind the Lakers (35-24) for fifth place. The teams will play again in Dallas on Saturday night.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Lakers, who have lost three of their past four games, with 29 points. Dennis Schroder finished with 25 points and 13 assists before fouling out with 18.3 seconds remaining in the game.

Anthony Davis played for the first time since Feb 14 due to a calf strain and tendinosis in his right leg, but played only 16 minutes and 40 seconds - all in the first half. He scored four points on 2-for-10 shooting.

The Mavericks prevailed despite losing Kristaps Porzingis with 2:32 left in the third quarter when he sprained his left ankle. Porzingis, who finished with 19 points and six rebounds in 29 minutes, played on the second night of a back-to-back for only the fourth time this season.

Doncic, who scored all his points from the second quarter on, was seen grimacing as he appeared to hurt his right leg late in the third quarter, but finished the game.

Dorian Finney-Smith, who finished with 10 points, hit a clutch three-pointer with 2:02 left in the fourth after the Lakers had cut Dallas' lead to 110-106.

Josh Richardson scored 13 points while Dwight Powell had 10 points. Willie Cauley-Stein totalled 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench.

Andre Drummond totalled 14 points and 19 rebounds for the Lakers while Montrezl Harrell shot 7-of-8 and scored 14 points off the bench.

For the Lakers, Marc Gasol did not play for the third consecutive game with a broken ligament in his left pinky finger. Maxi Kleber sat out on Thursday after suffering a lower back bruise in Dallas' previous game.

In another game, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points, 16 rebounds and six assists to lift hosts Milwaukee past Eastern Conference joint leaders Philadelphia 124-117.

Khris Middleton added 24 points, Bobby Portis had 23 and Brook Lopez 16 for the Bucks, who snapped a two-game losing streak and are third in the East. Jrue Holiday added 12 points and 11 assists.

Joel Embiid led the Sixers with 24 points. Shake Milton added 20 and Tobias Harris had 18 in his first game back after missing the previous three with knee soreness. Ben Simmons (illness) and Furkan Korkmaz (ankle) sat out as the Sixers dropped their third game in a row.

Meanwhile, Kemba Walker matched his season high with 32 points to lead banged-up Boston past visiting Phoenix 99-86.

He shot 11 of 17 from the field for the Celtics, who won for the ninth time in their last 11 games. Jayson Tatum had 15 points and 11 rebounds on 3-for-17 shooting as he continues to nurse a left ankle injury. Boston (32-27) played without Jaylen Brown (shoulder), Evan Fournier (health and safety) and Robert Williams III (knee).

Elsewhere, Derrick White scored 26 points, 11 of them in the pivotal third quarter, to help San Antonio defeat visiting Detroit 106-91 in a battle of short-handed squads. And Nikola Vucevic, Coby White and Thaddeus Young all scored 18 points as Chicago thumped visiting Charlotte 108-91.

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