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Kristaps Porzingis ‘can’t blame’ Rick Carlisle for fourth-quarter benching

Kristaps Porzingis has indicated he understands why Rick Carlisle benched him for the majority of the fourth quarter during the Dallas Mavericks’ 116-106 loss to the Boston Celtics on Monday night, a game in which the star struggled mightily.

Porzingis remains in the process of getting back into game shape after being sidelined for the past 20 months after suffering a torn ACL while still with the New York Knicks.

Carlisle, chalking it up to a “tough night,” sat Porzingis for the final nine minutes and four seconds of the game after the star was whistled for his fifth foul. All told, Porzingis finished with four points on 1-of-11 shooting in 20 minutes of action.

“There’s nights like this,” Carlisle said after the game, via Tim McMahon of ESPN. “We’re just going to flush it and move forward.”

While unhappy over getting sat, Porzingis says there’s no hard feelings over Carlisle’s decision to bench him.

“Of course I want to be out there, but can’t blame him,” Porzingis said. “I wasn’t having a great game. I’m all-in for whatever’s best for the team. If the coach thinks he’d rather have me out and have someone else in that’s having a better game, let’s do it if we can win a basketball game. That’s the most important thing, but going forward, I want to make sure I’m out there.”

Porzingis went on to say that adjusting to a new team along with recovering from a devastating injury has been a “work in progress.” He’s enjoyed some solid games this season, but there have been some clunkers along the way, as was the case in Monday’s loss.

In nine games, Porzingis is getting an average of 31.4 minutes of action. He is shooting 40.1% from the field while averaging 18.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per outing.

“It’s not going to happen overnight,” Porzingis said of getting acclimated to a new situation and system. “We’re 6-4 with me playing below the level that I’m used to. Once I find my game and be effective out there, we can be doing much more damage.”