The Portland Trail Blazers came into their Sunday night contest with the Dallas Mavericks with their eyes on a mini-series sweep. Portland beat Dallas on Friday night after handling the New Orleans Pelicans twice in a row earlier in the week. Maybe back-to-backs against the same team would become a Portland specialty?
Luka Doncic and the Mavericks snapped the Blazers out of that daydream before the first half was over. Luka went ham, then turkey, then roast beef, then smeared avocado all over the Blazers’ uniforms, then stuffed banana peppers up their collective noses, making a Portland smash sandwich and serving it up hot. Doncic scored 37 points, setting a personal record with 8 made threes.
CJ McCollum scored 13 in the game, Damian Lillard 19. Neither one of them hit a three. It’s safe to say that when a single opponent outscores Portland’s starting guards, it’s going to be a rough night for the Blazers. It was. Portland fell 132-92.
The Blazers may have ripped the Mavericks from the perimeter on Friday night, but they came out Sunday barging inside like starving vacuum salesmen. 7 of Portland’s first 10 makes in the game came in the paint. The Mavericks were like, “Oh well...guess we better score more.” They did, mostly. Portland did a good job crowding the Mavs inside, forcing misses. Dallas needed deep shots to keep pace. They got enough to keep close, but not enough to overcome 11 points from Damian Lillard, none of which came from outside. Portland led 30-27 after one.
Gary Trent, Jr. pulled out the barbeque and slow-roasted himself some Mavericks at the start of the second. He scored Portland’s first 8 points on a pair of threes and a layup. Scoring picked up quickly, but Portland’s defense broke down inside, allowing the Mavs a bevy of bunnies inside. Seriously, the estate of Hugh Hefner threatened to sue them for copyright infringement. The Blazers got points, but no separation on the scoreboard.
Then Luka Doncic became an absolute flame-thrower, canning a pair of threes and enough inside shots to pull Portland’s defense deep in the lane. At that point the rest of the Mavericks started stroking from distance as well and the game became a rout in the making. Behind Doncic, Dallas posted a 38-point quarter and took a 65-54 halftime lead.
Adding salt to the wounds caused by insult to injury, Doncic hit a pair of threes at the start of the third quarter, Maxi Kleber hit another, plus an inside shot. Suddenly the lead went from 11 to 20. Then the Mavs hit MORE threes and the margin ballooned to 30. Doncic reached his career high in three-pointers made in the third quarter.
Once upon a time I figured out how to score pretty much automatically on Double Dribble for the original NES system. I once won a game 226-0. The Mavericks seemed intent on doing the same thing. They went on a 39-7 run, which is just filthy disgusting. The Blazers had 69 at the end of the third, but Dallas had 103.
Do you really want to hear about this? I didn’t think so. Instead lets all picture kittens snuggling fuzzy little bunnies who are singing in six-part harmony on the back of a koala bear. At least Terry Stotts pulled the starters at the beginning of the fourth.
Portland shot 9-41 from the three-point arc (22.5%), the Mavericks 19-37 (51.4%). This was the largest home loss in franchise history.
Stay tuned for Steve Dewald’s analysis of this game coming up soon!
The Blazers welcome the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night at 7:00 PM, Pacific.