The Dallas Mavericks’ four-game win streak came to a disappointing end on Sunday night when they fell to Damian Lillard and the Portland Trailblazers 121-118 at the American Airlines Center.
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A back-and-forth affair, both offenses were out in full force in this one, with the Mavs taking a 61-58 lead into the locker room. Unfortunately, the Blazers would explode out of the half, outscoring the Mavs 45-30 in the third quarter, and seemingly taking control of the game.
Behind a heroic quarter from Luka Doncic, Dallas would battle back in the fourth, tying the game at 116 points apiece with just 49.5 seconds to go in regulation. The Blazers would handle business from there, however, using a back-breaking three from Lillard and a Derrick Jones Jr. layup to ice the game.
Doncic had an opportunity to tie the game on an open three with seconds to spare, but couldn't get it to fall, allowing the Blazers to run out the clock, and seal the win.
“It didn’t matter if I felt confident (about the last shot) or not,” said Doncic. “I thought it was in, and it went in and out, and that’s on me. I should have made that shot.”
Despite the miss, Doncic had yet another dominant offensive performance on Sunday, scoring 44 points, to go along with nine assists and seven rebounds. Kristaps Porzingis finished the game as the Mavs' next highest scorer with 18, while Dorian Finney-Smith added 14, and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 12 points off of the bench.
On the other end, Portland's barrage was unsurprisingly led by Lillard, who ended the night with 34 points and 11 assists, while hitting 12-of-26 from the field.
The Mavs (13-15) will be back in action on Wednesday night when they welcome Blake Griffin, former Maverick Dennis Smith Jr., and the Detroit Pistons to the American Airlines Center for their first matchup of the season.
Dallas last faced off against Detroit in December of 2019, with the Mavs coming away with a 122-111 win at Little Caesars Arena. Luka Doncic finished that game with a 41-point, 12-rebound, 11-assist triple-double.
Doncic has scored 90 point in the last two games. Great, but ...
“Of course I’m concerned that the load he’s carrying is a difficult load to carry on a game-to-game basis,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “I’ve got to try to get some more balance in our attack. It’s just a lot to ask of Luka to put together 40-point stat-stuffer night on a night-in, night-out basis. I feel like we’ve got to do some things to get other guys helping with carrying that load.”