LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 12 rebounds, Nicolas Batum had 15 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists, and the Portland Trail Blazers overcame yet another slow start to beat the Dallas Mavericks, 94-75 Thursday night at Moda Center, though they lost Wesley Matthews to a foot injury.
Aldridge started the game hot for the Blazers, hitting 5-of-7 for 11 points. The rest of the team failed to follow suit, shooting just 3-of-15. While the Mavericks were hardly the hottest team on the planet, they took an early six point lead as Portland did not score for the final four minutes of the period.
The shooting stayed ice cold into the second period, as Damian Lillard, Arron Afflalo, Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews combined to shoot 3-of-18 in the half, but the Portland's defense clamped down on Dallas. The Mavericks would score just 13 points in the quarter on 6-of-20 shooting. Portland was in danger of scoring less than 40 points in the half, but a late scoring burst by Aldridge and Robin Lopez allowed the Blazers to take a four point lead into halftime.
The second half started in a scary way for the Blazers as Matthews awkwardly landed on his left foot while turning up court. He went to the locker room in substantial pain and did not return.
Without their three-point ace, Portland needed someone to lift them up. Lillard finally snapped his streak of regulation quarters without a field goal at six in the third quarter, and did it in a big way. He was 3-of-5 for eight points, Batum went 3-of-4 for six points, and Portland ripped off an 18-7 run to seize a lead as large as sixteen. The Blazers would lead by 14 after three.
Portland stayed hot in the fourth on the back of Alonzo Gee, who contributed with a pair of violent dunks. Batum hit two threes, and Portland held off the road team for a fifth straight win.
Lillard finished with 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Dorell Wright led the bench with eight. Lopez had 13 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks.
Portland limited Dallas to a season-low 75 points tonight. The Mavericks had a previous season low of 87 points. #PORvsDAL— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) March 6, 2015
Portland's five-game winning streak is tied with Atlanta for the longest active streak in the NBA. #RipCity— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) March 6, 2015
The Trail Blazers improve to 25-5 in games decided by 10 points or more this season. #PORvsDAL— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) March 6, 2015
Portland's 41-19 record after 60 games is tied for the team's 7th-best mark all-time, matching last season's 41-19 record.— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) March 6, 2015
Wesley Matthews was just carted back to the locker room in a wheelchair with a very solemn look— Jason Quick (@jwquick) March 6, 2015
In two home games against Dallas this season, the Trail Blazers have outscored the Mavericks by a combined 40 points (202-162). #PORvsDAL— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) March 6, 2015
MRI confirms Portland G Wesley Matthews sustained a ruptured left Achilles' tendon. He is out for the season. pic.twitter.com/7HJSiFJRPf— Bruce Ely (@bruceely) March 6, 2015
MRI confirms Portland G Wesley Matthews sustained a ruptured left Achilles' tendon. He is out for the season.— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) March 6, 2015
Wesley Matthews just walked in to the locker room with a boot on. #blazers— Amy Schwartz (@TheAmySchwartz) March 6, 2015
Matthews knows it will take about 8 months or more to recover. Said he try to heal in five months #Blazers— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) March 6, 2015
Wes will be preaching tomorrow. Next man up. He will fire this team up from the bench. But his leadership will be missed— Mike Rice (@mikerice6) March 6, 2015
Matthews said he felt a pop and looked back, because it felt like someone had kicked him from behind in Achilles.— Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) March 6, 2015
Matthews looked back and "I was praying. I was praying that someone was back there. No one was back there." Then ...— Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) March 6, 2015
Matthews heard official Ron Garretson: "He says, 'Oh, no.’ He knew."— Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) March 6, 2015
A couple weeks ago Wes stopped me and pushed me to ask more questions. He encouraged me to be better. There isn’t a player like him.— Amy Schwartz (@TheAmySchwartz) March 6, 2015
'@wessywes2, on his reaction to season-ending Achilles injury: "Disbelief. I came out (after MRI) & they said it was torn. I knew it, but...— kerry eggers (@kerryeggers) March 6, 2015
'@wessywes2: "I'm frustrated. They say everything happens for a reason. What was this reason? What was it? I can't find it right now."— kerry eggers (@kerryeggers) March 6, 2015
'@wessywes2, asked if he knows when he'll undergo surgery for his torn left Achilles' tendon: "I'd do it tonight if I could."— kerry eggers (@kerryeggers) March 6, 2015
"It's so unfair. I don't care about our team. I don't care about basketball. It's just…it's unfair. He didn't deserve that."-- Batum on Wes— Erik Gundersen (@blazerbanter) March 6, 2015
Wesley Matthews, good game or bad, ALWAYS talks post-game. No surprise he did so tonight.— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) March 6, 2015
An illustration of Matthews' character and leadership: He came out and talked tonight, knowing he was lost for season. Rare move these days.— Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) March 6, 2015
Aldridge on Matthews: "He’s the heart and soul of this team. ...You can’t replace who he is and what he’s meant to this organization ..."— Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) March 6, 2015
At least one player said, knowing @wessywes2, he'll be back in time for training camp— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) March 6, 2015
"A lot of guys don’t practice in the NBA when they’re of his caliber, and he brings it every day." — McCollum on Matthews— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) March 6, 2015
VIDEO: A Robin Lopez block leads to a Nicolas Batum fast-break layup.
VIDEO: Damian Lillard steals the ball and orchestrates a fast-break that ends in an Alonzo Gee dunk.
VIDEO: A fan manages to hit a half court shot and win a Toyota.
VIDEO: Alonzo Gee finishes a play with a two-handed dunk.
VIDEO: Alonzo Gee finishes a solo fast break with a dunk.
VIDEO: Wesley Matthews speaks with TNT following the game.