The Dallas Mavericks (11-10) bounced back against the Portland Trail Blazers (13-10) after a convincing win over the Los Angeles Clippers. The Dallas defense was stingy in the first period and forced the Trail Blazers in four turnovers. The Mavs also outperformed Portland 14-7 on their way to a 34-20 lead after one.
The second quarter opened with a Portland three-point game, but the Mavericks responded with their own 6-0 run. The Dallas Bank was able to increase the lead to up to 17, and the starters could keep up, giving the Mavericks a 60-45 lead at halftime. Wesley Matthews and DeAndre Jordan led the Mavericks at eleven, Evan Turner at nine, the Trail Blazers. Without a few questionable fouls, the Mavericks could easily have gained 20 plus after two frames.
The third quarter was mostly back and forth. The Trail Blazers were able to reduce the Mavericks lead to 1
As in the third quarter, the Trail Blazers kept the game close, but this time they nearly went down the door and reduced the lead to six points. Damian Lillard was phenomenal in the second half, scoring more than 20 points in the two quarters alone. Fortunately, the Mavericks were able to get away with a win, but the game should have been canceled early in the fourth round. But at the end of the day, Dallas won 111-102, earning eight home wins. Luka Doncic led Dallas to 21, but DeAndre Jordan brought a 12-point monster with 17 double rebounds. The Mavericks cross and win five of the last six and nine of the last eleven.
Damian Lillard has overcome early struggles
Lillard's final score looks nice, but it's not really a clue to his game. Last season against the Mavericks, Lillard Dallas blazed for 29 points per game, so it was strange to see him in the beginning as he did. For the night Lillard scored 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-throw line and put 11 out of 12 attempts together. In the first half, Dennis Smith Jr. gave Lillard seizures. He struggled through apertures and closed rooms in the blink of an eye. It was a really impressive defensive effort on the second watch.
It would be nice to be able to give all the credits to the Mavericks, frankly, Lillard missed a few simple looks. He just did not look in sync, and so the Trail Blazers seemed to be out of sync. In the second half, however, he scared the Mavs and all fans at the AAC when he quit 15 points in the third quarter and continued his resurgence in the fourth quarter. The Mavericks had several chances to end the game in the second half, but Lillard thought it was interesting. That's what Superstar Guardians do, but his battles in the first half just made the mountain so big that the Mavericks could take a victory.
The Dallas Bank is an Elite
It's amazing what Rick Carlisle can do with this banking unit. In addition to Devin Harris, J.J. Barea, Dorian-Finney Smith, Powell and Kleber Collection were once a group of thought. Now, after a short time in Dallas, they are among the deadliest bankers in the NBA. The Trail Blazers knocked on the door of a comeback a couple of times in this game, but the bank rescued the Mavericks every time. For the game, the second unit outperformed Portland's 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, struck a shot and gave the bank a burst of energy, which he had missed when he was injured. He and Powell were instrumental in raising the Mavericks up to 19 points in the third quarter.
Luka Doncic put the nail in the coffin
For the majority of the game Doncic was relatively calm. He has not disappeared, but it's the kind of silence you notice when you look at the boxing stats and see that he still has 15 points and eight rebounds. But in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, Doncic closed the door on all comeback attempts by Trail Blazer. While the Trail Blazers had only two possessions and only one minute left, Doncic pulled the backstay three out of his pocket:
A little later, Doncic threw up a full court, one-handed pass to a grazing Smith for the Jam.
Doncic finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and three assists the most important impressions in the last minute. That's a clutch.