LaMarcus Aldridge had 19 points and 8 rebounds, Damian Lillard had 17 points but also 6 turnovers, and the Portland Trail Blazers fell in their final regular season game of the 2014-2015 season, losing to the Dallas Mavericks 114-98 Wednesday night at the American Airlines Center.
With Houston and Memphis winning tonight, combined with San Antonio's loss, the Blazers will now play the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. They open Sunday at 5pm Pacific.
With Portland down to eight players, the shooting got scattered among the roster in the first quarter... with unpleasant results. Players not named Aldridge or Lillard shot a combined 1-for-9, and Aldridge shot 3-of-12. Lillard had nine by himself, but the Blazers trailed by ten after one.
The old and the young came to the rescue for Portland in quarter number two. First was the coldest shooter on the roster, Steve Blake, who came into the quarter 1-of-19 shooting over his last six games. Obviously this meant Blake would score eight points in the period alone, getting the Blazers within six. When Tyson Chandler returned the favor for Dallas, Tim Frazier stepped up. Frazier to that point had scored ten points total since joining the team. So obviously he would score six points and dish out six assists in the period as Portland got as close as four. They would trail by five at halftime.
All of the good will from the second quarter evaporated in the hot Dallas sun in the third quarter. Portland missed six of their first seven shots, committed seven turnovers, and watched the Mavericks roll out a 17-2 run for a 22 point lead. Lillard had seven to lead the Blazers, but Aldridge shot 1-of-7 in the quarter, and Portland trailed by 18 after three.
Blazer starters were off the court in the fourth as the game was never really in question.
Allen Crabbe had eight points, starting for the first time since November. Alonzo Gee had eight points starting for the injured Nicolas Batum. Blake led the bench scoring with 14. Portland shot 7-of-25 from three. Frazier had thirteen points and ten assists.
The Trail Blazers will record the best free throw percentage in the NBA (80.1%) for the second straight season (81.5% in 2013-14).— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) April 16, 2015
Aldridge said his timing was a little off tonight, "but that's what this game is for" to knock off the rust #Blazers— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) April 16, 2015