Portland had every advantage, but threw it all away in the fourth quarter.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 14 rebounds, Damian Lillard had 26 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists but the Portland Trail Blazers collapsed entirely against the Dallas Mavericks, 111-101 Saturday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
The teams were evenly matched through the first quarter of play, with both teams shooting over 43% for the period. Dallas got out as far as five with seven points from perennial Blazer pest Chandler Parsons, but the bench rallied for Portland. CJ McCollum had six, Chris Kaman had four, and the Blazers led by one after one.
Portland's offense continued to roll at a high pace in the second, with Lillard and Meyers Leonard leading a 13-0 run and an eight point Blazer lead. Lillard led all Blazers in scoring in the quarter with eight. Some questionable calls by the officials allowed Dallas to re-take the lead with a 9-0 run. Aldridge and Wesley Matthews countered for the Blazers, who took a five point lead into halftime.
The start of the second half was a duel between two of the best shooting forwards in NBA history. Aldridge and Dirk Nowitzki traded field goals back and forth until Aldridge hit his third while Nowitzki missed his. Aldridge would go to work in a big way in the quarter, shooting 6-of-9 for 13 points while netting his 26th double-double of the season. Lillard had eight in the period, and Portland surged ahead by as many as 16, leading by 13 after three.
A quick Matthews three gave the Blazers a 16 point lead early in the fourth quarter, but five straight turnovers allowed Dallas to climb back into the game. On the defensive side, Nowitzki was able to switch onto McCollum, where the 7'0 German has an extreme advantage, scoring two quick buckets and the Mavericks closed the gap to 7. Portland committed nine turnovers in the fourth quarter. Portland led by 11 with two minutes to play, but back-to-back threes by Parsons and Devin Harris cut the lead to five. With under a minute to play, Harris stole the ball for a fast break layup to bring the lead to three. Lillard missed a long three, and Nowitzki hit a three with 20 seconds left to tie the game. The last shot of regulation went to Lillard, but he missed, sending the game to overtime. The 13 points the Blazers scored in the fourth quarter were the fewest they scored in that period all season.
Between the fourth quarter and overtime, Dallas went on an 20-2 run. They scored the first nine points of overtime, and Portland did not hit a field goal between the 3:54 mark of the fourth quarter and the 1:46 mark of overtime. With Portland unable to hit a shot, Dallas closed the game out.
McCollum led the bench scoring with nine. Steve Blake had just two points, but also led the team with seven assists. Robin Lopez had 11 points and 8 rebounds. Lillard shot 4-of-10 from three after shooting 4-of-30 from distance his past six games.
Final 3:54 of 4thQ + OT: #Blazers shot 2-for-10, lost the rebounding battle 13-3 and turned it over 4 times.— Mike Richman (@mikegrich) February 8, 2015
The Blazers scored 11 points in the 8 minutes of the game. Chandler Parsons scored 13.— Mike Richman (@mikegrich) February 8, 2015
"What happened to us is what we usually do to teams" - Wesley Matthews— Mike Richman (@mikegrich) February 8, 2015
Aldridge said he doesn't believe there were execution problems late, just missed shots #Blazers— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) February 8, 2015
Terry Stotts: "It was a game we should have had. We did a lot of things to give it away." #PORvsDAL— Jay Allen (@PDXjay) February 8, 2015
Wesley Matthews: "This is as dead as a locker room as I’ve ever been around. Everybody is pissed. Rightfully so. We’re shocked."— Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) February 8, 2015
Lillard on the last shot in the 4Q: "I feel like if I get that shot 3 times, I make 2 of them. Today was the one that I missed." #Blazers— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) February 8, 2015
.@portlandboltfan Stotts said that was the play. Lillard to get whatever shot he felt was best.— CSNNW (@CSNNW) February 8, 2015
VIDEO: Steve Blake finds Damian Lillard with a backdoor pass and Lillard finishes with a one-handed dunk.