Video: Mavericks' Monta Ellis hits buzzer-beating game-winner vs. Blazers
With 1.9 seconds remaining and the game tied at 106, Jose Calderon inbounded the ball from the left sideline. Ellis used two screens to free himself from Wesley Matthews at the top of the key and he caught the pass in stride, using one dribble to curl back toward the hoop. He then pulled up on a dime, knocking down the nothing-but-net jumper from one step inside the three-point line.
"I was born for it," Ellis said. "I've been taking that shot all my life. I love that time of the game, and I've hit a couple of game-winners in my career. At that point of the game, you always like to have that confidence to take that last shot, and I got it. I have the ability to make those shots. Coach gave me the ball and I knocked the shot down."
Dallas barely survived after conceding back-to-back three-pointers to fritter away a six-point lead in the game's final 45 seconds. Nevertheless, Ellis, who finished with 22 points (on 9-for-18 shooting) and four assists, was ready and willing to provide the difference-maker.
"I told [Vince Carter] before we talked out there that if he gave me the ball, the game was over," Ellis said. "And Calderon, we were walking, and we made eye contact and I told him to give me the ball, I'm ready for it. He gave it to me and I came off and hit the shot."
Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge didn't step out to contest Ellis, saying that he was zoning up to defend the paint and that he was surprised Ellis got the ball instead of Dirk Nowitzki, who tallied a team-high 28 points (on 12-for-22 shooting), seven assists and six rebounds.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle wasn't pleased that his team needed Ellis to save them, but he was plenty happy the winner went down.
"We shouldn't have been in that situation," Carlisle said. "But when you get in that situation, you have to get the ball to one of those two guys [Nowitzki or Ellis]. So [Calderon] threw a great pass, [Ellis] made a great shot [and] we get out of here alive.
Ellis had the final word after Blazers guard Damian Lillard tied the game at 106 with a three-pointer just seconds earlier.
Lillard finished with a game-high 32 points (on 9-for-18 shooting) and five assists in a losing effort.
Dallas improved to 13-8 with the win; Portland dropped to 17-4 with the loss. Video via YouTube user firstandskol