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Kristaps Porzingis is posting his highest scoring average since injuring his knee during his final season with the Knicks, but the one-time All-Star might not be available to face his original NBA team.
The oft-injured Porzingis, who sat out the Wizards’ win over Chicago on Wednesday night with sore ribs, was listed as questionable on the injury report ahead of Friday’s game against the Knicks in Washington.
The 27-year-old Porzingis is scoring 22.0 points per game over 37 games this season. The 7-foot-3 forward was named to the All-Star team while averaging 22.7 points per game with the Knicks in 2017-18 before suffering a torn ACL in February of that season. Porzingis was traded the following year to Dallas while still recovering from the injury.
Three-time All-Star guard Bradley Beal remains sidelined for the Wizards, who have lost 17 of their past 25 games, with a strained hamstring.
Second-year center Jericho Sims hasn’t played in the past two games with Obi Toppin returning to the rotation after missing five weeks with a fractured fibula. Isaiah Hartenstein hasn’t scored in either game, however, shooting 0-for-6 from the floor with six rebounds in 19 total minutes. He was subbed out for Mitchell Robinson less than one minute into the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s win over the Pacers.
“End of the third, start of the fourth, I didn’t like what was going on rebounding-wise,” Tom Thibodeau said. “We knew the pressure was going to come, but I didn’t want to give up second shots. … But Isiah’s given us a lot of good things: rim protection, ball movement, opening the floor up.”
Quentin Grimes on Jalen Brunson’s 34-point game against Indiana: “He’s our finisher, our closer, a big-time shot-maker. You saw it in the playoffs all of last year [with Dallas]. Just him coming to the team really gives us a boost that we really need from a leadership standpoint, a shot-making standpoint. So he kind of brings it all. Especially late in the game, we can rely on him to go get a bucket for us.”