Damian Lillard tied his career high with 61 points to become the first Trail Blazer to record back-to-back 50+ point games, and the Portland Trail Blazers overcame an awful shooting second half to defeat the Dallas Mavericks 134-131 on Tuesday night. Kristaps Porzingis had 36 points for Dallas before fouling out with two minutes remaining. Blazers not named Lillard shot 6-of-21 from three and hit just three field goals in the entire fourth quarter, but a late dunk by Hassan Whiteside off a feed from Lillard and an offensive foul on Trey Burke gave Portland the win.
Here are tonight’s takeaways:
- Where Oh Where Has CJ Gone? CJ McCollum had a nightmare of an evening, shooting just 2-of-14 from the field and 1-of-5 from three. He also committed five fouls and had a putrid -27 plus/minus. Jusuf Nurkic was not much better on offense, shooting 3-of-9 before fouling out.
- Fourth Field Goals Failed: Portland did not hit a field goal in the fourth quarter until 6:11 was left in the period. Free throws by Lillard kept things close, but it showed just how ice cold the Blazers went in the second half.
- Gutty Performance From Role Players: Zach Collins had nine first-quarter points to build an early lead until an apparent injury slowed him down before halftime. Mario Hezonja and Gary Trent Jr. provided excellent defense off the bench. While Lillard and Carmelo Anthony (26 points) seemed to be the whole offense, other players did their jobs elsewhere.
- Foul Frenzy: The teams combined for 55 fouls, with nearly half of them occurring in a chippy fourth quarter. Maxi Kleber and Anthony spent time jawing after a hard foul resulting in a double technical. Luka Doncic also picked up a questionable technical on the next possession. Of course the late fouls that disqualified Porzingis and got the turnover from Burke were key in the win.
Portland has their regular season finale against Brooklyn on Thursday.