Kristaps Porzingis exits game vs. Los Angeles Lakers due to ankle sprain

DALLAS -- Dallas Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis exited Thursday's 115-110 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle and was ruled out from returning minutes later.

Porzingis rolled the ankle while pursuing a loose ball late in the third quarter. He limped to the bench during the ensuing timeout and writhed in pain while conferring with Mavs director of player health and performance Casey Smith. Porzingis then slowly walked to the locker room for further evaluation.

"Uncertain as to the severity," coach Rick Carlisle said after the win, which pulled the Mavericks even with the Portland Trail Blazers for sixth place in the Western Conference standings. "We're hoping it's not too severe. I don't think he's been ruled out for Saturday yet, but with ankles, a lot of it's about how the player's feeling the next morning.

"So, we'll see where he is tomorrow. He was in pretty good spirits after the game, and he is walking. He isn't in a [protective] boot or anything at this point."

This was only the fourth time this season that Porzingis played in both ends of a back-to-back, as the Mavs have exercised great caution due to his injury history. Porzingis has had surgeries on both knees, repairing a torn ACL in his left knee in February 2018 and a meniscus tear in his right knee last offseason, causing him to miss the first nine games of this season.

Porzingis had 19 points and 6 rebounds in 29 minutes before exiting. He has averaged 20.4 points and 9.3 rebounds in 39 games this season.