Ouch. The Blazers scored nine whole points in the fourth quarter, surrendering a double-digit lead and falling apart in a 102-101 loss to the Mavs.
A few takeaways from a woof-tastic day game in Dallas:
- An ominous start to a heavy travel stretch. Portland plays 9 of their next 10 on the road, and the first game of that stretch is a loss to a team whose front office is attempting to tank.
- Third quarter is now Lillard Time... After the Mavs tied the game, he scored 21 points on 8-8 shooting, including 16 straight, to push the Blazers into a double-digit lead. He could have scored again to close the quarter, but drew the defense and handed the ball to Meyers Leonard. He swished the jumper, too.
- ... But not the fourth. For some reason, the Blazers have trouble closing the door on the Mavs, who came back yet again tonight. The game came down to the wire, and the Blazers got the ball into Lillard’s hands multiple times. But he couldn’t score late in the game, and that was that.
- A quieter night for Rodney. Hood scored 8 points on 3-7 shooting as he tries to integrate into the Blazers’ system at both ends.
- Best of times, worst of times for Jusuf. Nurkic was a monster when he was in the game, shooting 9-11 for 18 points plus 10 rebounds. Unfortunately, thanks to foul trouble, he wasn’t in the game long. Terry Stotts sat him with four fouls, attempting to save him for late minutes. He lasted less than 4 minutes before fouling out.
It doesn’t get easier: The Blazers head to Oklahoma City for a game tomorrow night. Then they go home for a game against the Warriors.