Fresh of a convincing victory against Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks (11-10) was back in action against Portland Trail Blazers…
Fresh of a convincing victory against Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks (11-10) was back in action against Portland Trail Blazers (13-10). The Dallas defense was stingy in the first period that forced Trail Blazers into four sales. Mavs also outbound Portland 14-7 on his way to a 34-20 lead after one.
The second quarter opened with a Portland three-point game, but Mavericks responded with a 6-0 run by himself. The Dallas bench could drive the lead to as many as 17, and the starters could hold the beat, giving Mavericks a 60-45 lead in half-time. Wesley Matthews and DeAndre Jordan led Mavericks with 1
1 each time Evan Turner paced Trail Blazers with nine. If there had been no doubtful incorrect conversations, Mavericks would easily have led 20 plus after two frames.
Third quarter was mostly a back and forth business. Trail Blazers could trim Maverick’s lead to 10 points on two separate occasions and cut the lead in single numbers on a Damian Lillard and-one. Trail Blazers could keep the game closer to the scoreboard than it actually was thanks to Lillard’s third quarter, but Mavericks closed the door at the end of the quarter. Dwight Powell conserved two trees and Maxi Kleber threw a backdunk as Mavericks closed on an 8-2 race. After three Dallas held a 87-73 lead.
As the third quarter, Trail Blazers held the game close, only this time they nearly kicked the door and cut the lead to six points. Damian Lillard was phenomenal in the second half, scoring more than 20 points in the two quarters alone. Fortunately, Mavericks could fly with a victory, but the game should have gone away early in the fourth. But at the end of the day, Dallas won 111-102, marking his eight straight victory at home. Luka Doncic led Dallas by 21, but DeAndre Jordan put up a monster 12 points, 17 rebound double double. The Mavericks crossed and won five of the last six and nine of the last 11.
Lillard’s last score overall looks good, but that’s not really an indication of the game he had. Last season against Mavericks, Lillard Dallas flared 29 points per game, so it was strange to see him struggling at first as he did. For the night, Lillard made 33 points with eight assists and eight rebounds. However, he shot 10-23 from the field and 2-8 from three. Lillard also made many trips to the free kick, which connects 11 out of 12 attempts. In the first half, Dennis Smith Jr. gave Lillard fits. He fought through screens and closed space in a flash. It was a very impressive defense from last year’s guard.
Although it would be nice to be able to give Mavericks all credit, frankly, Lillard lacked some light looks. He just looked out of sync and saw Trail Blazers out of sync. But in the second half, Mavs and all the fans in AAC gave quite scary when he showed up for 15 points in the third quarter and continued his upturn in the fourth quarter. The Mavericks had several chances in the second half to put away the game, but Lillard kept it interesting. That’s what superstar guards do, but his struggles in the first half made the mountain just enough high for Mavericks to go with a victory.
It’s quite amazing what Rick Carlisle can do with this bench. Except Devin Harris, J.J. The Barea, Dorian-Finney Smith, Powell and Kleber collection were once a group of thought. Now, after some time in Dallas, they are part of the most deadly benchgroup in the entire NBA. Trail Blazers knocked the door to a comeback a few times in this game, but the bench saved Mavericks every time. For the game, the other device outperformed Portland 38-25, but it’s really amazing how dominant this group is. Kleber had a particularly strong third and fourth quarter. He was active on the glass, swept a shot and gave the bench a lack of energy that he missed while injured. He and Powell were instrumental in ballooning Maverick’s third quarter led to as many as 19 points.
For the majority of the game, Doncic was relatively quiet. He did not disappear, but it was the quiet you see when you look at the box’s points and see that he still has 15 points and eight rebounds. But at the last minute of the fourth quarter, Doncic closed the door on some repeated attempts by Trail Blazer. With Trail Blazers down just two possessions and just one minute left, Doncic back-back pulled three out of his bag:
Soon after Doncic hit a full court, one-handed pass to a shredding Smith for jam.
Doncic finished 21 points, nine rebounds and three assists and made the most important ornaments at the last minute. It’s clutch.