Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE
The Portland Trail Blazers kept it close all night, but had no answer for the insanely hot-shooting Dallas Mavericks team led by OJ Mayo. However, they still head home with a .500 record. A late Mavs run left the score unrepresentative of the game that preceded it.
The Blazers were led by LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews (20 points apiece), with support from Nicolas Batum (14 points) and JJ Hickson (11 rebounds). Meyers Leonard (6 points, 9 rebounds) had a few nice moments, and Damian Lillard (13 points, 5 assists against a harsh Dallas defense) had a night that would be great for most rookies. OJ Mayo looked like a world-beater again, scoring 30 points on 6-8 three pointers.
In the first quarter, the Mavericks reminded everyone they're feeling hot, hitting 5 of their first 6 shots. Meanwhile, Lillard picked up two quick fouls, including a classic "rookie mistake" foul, and quickly headed to the bench. OJ Mayo helped Dallas pushed the lead to 10. A turnover led to a Dallas break, but instead of a 12 point lead, Batum chased them down for a block, leading to an easy Blazer bucket. As Darren Colllison left the game, Lillard returned, and immediately made an impact with a three-point play. The Blazers stayed within 4 after one quarter.
New strategy: try not to get destroyed by an average player like O.J. Mayo.
by Roy Wonder
Lillard and the Blazers came out strong and kept it close in the second quarter, cutting the lead to two through the first six minutes. A three-point play for Aldridge finally gave the Blazers a short-lived lead. Portland continued to keep it close, despite Dallas' efficient offense exploiting the Blazers repeatedly. A late drive and layup by Ronnie Price kept the Blazers within 2 at halftime, despite Dallas' 63% shooting.
Anyone else think Lillard somehow looks like Bayless when he has the ball?
The third quarter began with Blazer turnovers, and more Dallas buckets. The suddenly-amazing Mayo was left alone for two more swished three's, and the Mavs suddenly led by 8 again. But within minutes, the Blazers returned the favor, battling to cut the lead back to 1. With 5:30 left, Aldridge tied the game with a free throw, only to see Mayo immediately swish another three. Portland kept the deficit within single digits late into the third, with some help from offensive rebounding and a few key lucky shots. However, yet another Mayo three gave Dallas a 4 point lead after three.
and when they are good
they are really really good
and when they are are bad
they are horrid
by cavejunctionblazer (During a rough stretch)
The Blazers struggled to keep it close to start the fourth, as the bench unit tried to gel. However, they were no match for Dallas, whose offensive efficiency was overwhelming all night. As Aldridge helplessly watched from the bench, cavejunctionblazer's theory came to life as Dallas slowly pulled away into a double-digit lead. He returned to the game, only to see Hickson take on four Mavs and miss. True to form, Dallas scored again at the other end to open their biggest lead of the night. Then another biggest lead. Then another. Dallas simply hit every single shot on each possession. For a Mavs fan, it was amazing to watch. For a Blazer fan, infuriating. Coach Terry Stotts called another timeout, but the game was essentially over. Soon, it was officially over, as Portland waved the white flag, and Dallas blew the game open in the final minutes, outscoring the Blazers 31-12 in the quarter.
Box Score. The next game is Thursday, as the Blazers return home to continue this brutal start to the season, facing yet another Western Conference playoff contender, this time the Los Angeles Clippers on TNT. And don't forget to check out Dave's analysis of tonight's game later tonight. -- Tim
Portland Trail Blazers tickets for upcoming games available through Blazer's Edge sponsor TiqIQ