By Dorothy J. Gentry
Professional basketball in Dallas and Frisco made a little history on Monday.
The Dallas Mavericks’ Kristaps Porzingis and the Texas Legends’ Cameron Payne were named Players of the Week for the NBA and the NBA G-League, respectively.
Porzingis, a forward/center for the Mavs, was named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played from Monday, Feb. 24 through Sunday, March 1. It marks the second time in his career that Porzingis has won Player of the Week honors (he was named Eastern Conference POW for games played from Oct. 30 through Nov. 5, 2017, with New York).
He also becomes the second Maverick to win the award this season, joining Luka Dončić (Nov. 18 through Nov. 24).
Porzingis (7-3, 240) led the Mavericks to a 3-1 week with averages of 26.3 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game – all team highs for that stretch. He totaled at least 24 points and 12 boards in each of the final three games during the week.
The Latvian forward/center capped off the week by connecting on a career-high-tying six 3-pointers en route to scoring a season-high-tying 38 points and adding 13 rebounds and five blocks in 37 minutes at Minnesota on March 1st.
Porzingis joined Dirk Nowitzki as the only Mavericks to produce a 35-point, 10-rebound, five-block game. In addition, he and the Lakers’ Anthony Davis are the only players to record a 35-point, 10-rebound, five-block stat line in 2019-20.
Cameron Payne, of the Mavs’ affiliate Texas Legends in Frisco, was named the NBA G-League Player of the Week. Payne led the Legends to a 3-0 record with 23.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 10.3 assists, 2.7 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game. Payne joined the Legends Jan. 25th and has played 12 games with the team, averaging 22.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 7.8 assists and shooting 50% from the field. The former 1st round pick has had career-highs in scoring (43), rebounds (10), and assists (19) with the Legends, with two of those performances falling in the last three games.
Just this past Saturday night, in another career first, Payne became the eighth player in Legends history and first this season to post a triple-double, putting up 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 19 assists in the team’s 131-110 victory over the Northern Arizona Suns.
In other NBA news, Giannis Antetokounmpo was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week.