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Kristaps Porzingis had 18 points, 7 rebounds in return to NBA court

2019-20 Dallas Mavericks Media Day

DALLAS, TX - SEPTEMBER 30: Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the Dallas Mavericks poses for a portrait during Media Day on September 30, 2019 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The last time Kristaps Porzingis was on an NBA court, it was Feb. 6, 2018, eighteen months ago. Since then he has gone through rehab for a torn ACL and gone from savior of the Knicks to being traded to the Mavericks.

Porzingis was finally back on the court Wednesday.

It’s just preseason, but Porzingis finished with 18 points on 7-of-18 shooting, 2-of-7 from three, and seven rebounds. His high-release shot looked smooth, even if he was a bit rusty at points overall.

It was a good start for the unicorn.

Luka Doncic led the way for Dallas with 21 points, but the Pistons won the game 124-117 behind a balanced attack led by Luke Kennard’s 19 points.

Dallas has bet big on Porzingis getting healthy and meshing with Doncic, forming the cornerstone of a contender in a few years. One preseason game certainly isn’t going to say whether that was a good bet, but it’s a first step — and a smooth one at that.