Dallas Mavericks forward Dwight Powell will miss the rest of the season with a torn right Achilles tendon, a blow to a team contending for a playoff spot for the first time in four years.
The club confirmed Wednesday the diagnosis it had feared after Powell was injured in the first quarter of a 110-107 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Powell is exploring his options on surgery.
The 28-year-old Powell went down with a non-contact injury with 2:57 left in the first quarter Tuesday night. He was helped to the locker room while putting no weight on his right leg.
The injury came on the same night 7-foot-3 forward Kristaps Porzingis returned after missing 10 games because of a sore right knee. Powell averaged 13 points on 71% shooting in the games Porzingis missed and was proving to be an effective sidekick. They usually started together when healthy.
Powell, in his sixth season in the NBA, has averaged nearly 10 points and six rebounds a game in 39 previous games. He had increased his scoring average over each of his first five seasons.
Powell has played all but five of his 371 career games for the Mavericks, arriving from Boston in a five-player trade in December 2014 that also brought point guard Rajon Rondo. Rondo's style clashed with Carlisle, but Powell's energy and productivity in the paint has made him a favorite of the coach.
Led by second-year sensation Luka Doncic, Porzingis and guard Tim Hardaway Jr., the Mavericks (27-16) started the day fifth in the Western Conference.
The loss of Powell could influence what Dallas does before the Feb. 6 trading deadline. He has been a strong pick-and-roll partner for Doncic and other Dallas point guards.
The Mavericks start a three-game road trip Thursday in Portland.