Looking to continue their momentum following an impressive win over the Los Angeles Clippers earlier in the week, the Dallas Mavericks headed west to take on Damian Lillard and the Portland Trailblazers at the Moda Center on Friday night.
Unfortunately for Dallas, Lillard, as well as his backcourt running mate C.J. McCollum, were too much for the short-handed Mavs defense to handle, as Dallas fell 125-119.
What did Dallas do wrong, exactly?
Said coach Rick Carlisle: "We needed to keep attacking downhill as much as possible."
Mavs star Luka Doncic did his best to keep pace with the dynamic Portland duo, scoring 38 points to go along with nine rebounds and nine assists, while hitting 15-of-27 shots from the floor.
As for the Mavs second star, Kristaps Porzingis, it was tougher sledding, with Porzingis scoring just 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting, to go along with eight rebounds.
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Doncic was able to get some help in the form of Tim Hardaway Jr., who added 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting, while Maxi Kleber scored 16 points in 34 minutes.
In fact, as a team, the Mavs had no problems getting the ball in the net, shooting 54.3-percent from the floor, and 45-percent from three, while hitting 12-of-13 from the line.
Where Dallas did struggle, however, was on the defensive end, where they were without one of their best defenders in Dorian Finney-Smith.
As a result, Portland hit 47.3-percent from the field, and 46.8-percent from beyond the arc, while Blazers stars Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum each exploded for huge nights.
Lillard, who finished with 31 points and six assists, hit 10-of-19 from the floor, while McCollum added a team-high 32 points of his own to go along with four assists.
Said Hardaway: “They do a great job of feeding off each other. And when Dame is out and C.J. is in the game, that’s his time to go. That’s one of the best duos in the league.''
The Mavs will be back in action on Sunday night against this same Blazers team at the Moda Center, in what will be the third and final matchup of the season between the two teams.
Dallas will then head to Minneapolis to take on the Timberwolves on Wednesday from the Target Center.
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