Powering the Dallas Mavericks to a 133-125 victory on Thursday over the host Portland Trail Blazers, Luka Doncic welcomed his first All-Star starter nod in style. The 20-year-old scored 27 points and made nine assists to help Mavericks beat the hosts.
However, Doncic was not the only Maverick who had a great night. Kristaps Porzingis scored 20 points, with Jalen Brunson and Seth Curry chipping in with 17 points each. Maxi Kleber bagged 15 points while Dorian Finney-Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 11 points apiece. This was the Mavericks' fifth win in six games.
Ariza scores career-best, McCollum misses third straight game
Damian Lillard made eight 3-pointers and had 47 points and eight assists for Portland as part of a stellar two-game run. He set franchise records of 61 points and 11 3-pointers in Monday's overtime win against the Golden State Warriors.
Trevor Ariza added a season-best 21 points in his first game with the Trail Blazers after being acquired from the Sacramento Kings. Gary Trent Jr. made six 3-pointers while scoring 20 points, Carmelo Anthony recorded 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Hassan Whiteside added 14 points and 10 rebounds as Portland lost for the third time in the past four games.
CJ McCollum (ankle) missed his third straight contest for Portland, which shot 50.5 percent from the field and made 21 of 39 shots from 3-point range. The Mavericks were 22 of 47 from behind the arc and shot 51.6 percent overall. Dallas led by 15 points at halftime and soon pushed the lead to 25 as Doncic scored on a layup to make it 93-68 with 7:49 left in the third quarter.
Trail Blazers' blitzkrieg falls short
But the Mavericks went scoreless for 4 1/2 minutes as Portland ripped off 17 straight points. Lillard had 11 during the surge — including three straight 3-pointers — as the Trail Blazers pulled within 93-85 on Anthony's 3-pointer with 4:23 remaining. Finney-Smith connected on a 3-pointer with 3:18 left to end the Dallas drought en route to the Mavericks taking a 103-90 advantage into the fourth quarter.
Portland trailed 112-101 after Lillard's dunk with 7:45 left but Brunson scored five points during a 7-0 run to boost the Dallas lead back to 18 with 6:29 remaining, and the Mavericks cruised to the finish. Doncic scored 20 first-half points as Dallas led 78-63 at the break. Lillard scored 16 points in the half.
(With inputs from agencies)