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Dallas Mavericks 119-125 Portland Trail Blazers: 5 Hits and flops as CJ McCollum nullifies Luka Doncic's huge performance

CJ McCollum was at his lethal best tonight
CJ McCollum was at his lethal best tonight
Raunak J
ANALYST
Modified 20 Mar 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

The Portland Trail Blazers made some huge defensive stops in the fourth quarter to defeat the Dallas Mavericks 125-119 at home. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 63 points as the Blazers recorded a third consecutive win. This was the 500th win as a head coach for Terry Stotts who was interestingly an assistant coach for the Mavs before moving to Portland in 2012.

Luka Doncic had a near triple-double himself and he received ample help from Tim Hardaway Jr. who scored 25 points. However, other Dallas Mavericks players failed to turn up to the occasion as the Portland Trail Blazers ran away with the win. On that note, let's look at the hits and flops from this matchup.


#1 Hit: Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)

Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard

It seems impossible for Damian Lillard to have an off night these days. Dame Dolla was on the money from the get-go as he made three treys in the first quarter to ignite the Portland Trail Blazers' offense. Lillard would slow down as the game progressed but he still managed 31 points and six assists against the Dallas Mavericks.

Damian Lillard had an injury scare in the fourth quarter. His and Josh Richardson's knees collided as the duo chased after a loose ball. Lillard was in anguish after the incident but he eventually walked it off.

#2 Flop: Kristaps Porzingis (Dallas Mavericks)

Kristaps Porzingis
Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis has been playing with increased aggression of late but he was completely bullied by the Portland Trail Blazers' big men tonight. The Latvian couldn't get his shots to fall and managed just 11 points on a paltry 3-of-11 shooting.

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Porzingis' frustration grew during the course of the game and he even committed silly offensive fouls while trying to force the issue underneath the rim. He was also the Dallas Mavericks' worst defender on the night as Enes Kanter had no trouble in scoring against him. Porzingis finished with a team-worst -10 plus-minus rating.

#3 Hit: CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers)

CJ McCollum
CJ McCollum

CJ McCollum had only managed a combined 6-of-27 in his first two games following a two-month injury layoff. He shrugged off some of the rust against the Dallas Mavericks, though, with a 32-point performance that included seven three-pointers. McCollum scored the bulk of his points in the first and fourth quarters. He even scored a buzzer-beating floater to close out the first period.

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The Dallas Mavericks led by seven and threatened to escape beyond reach. That's when CJ McCollum stood up. He first created an open look for Gary Trent Jr. and then dropped two consecutive treys to swing the momentum in the Portland Trail Blazers' favor.

#4 Hit: Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)

Luka Doncic is guarded by Damian Lillard
Luka Doncic is guarded by Damian Lillard

Luka Doncic was at his best for three quarters but couldn't get his shots to fall in the fourth. The Slovenian finished with 38 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. His 16-point burst in the second quarter kept the Dallas Mavericks in touching distance of the Portland Trail Blazers.

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Doncic's long-range shooting seemed to be on-point to start the game but his accuracy waned over time. He was able to create good looks for Tim Hardaway Jr. and contributed on the boards to make up for his shooting woes late in the game.

#5 Flop: Gary Trent Jr. (Portland Trail Blazers)

Gary Trent Jr. tries to finish closer to the rim
Gary Trent Jr. tries to finish closer to the rim

Gary Trent Jr. followed up his ghastly performance against the New Orleans Pelicans with another dull outing. Trent Jr. couldn't capitalize on the open looks he was afforded by the Dallas Mavericks defenders who were preoccupied with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

Trent Jr. entered Friday's game averaging 15.2 points for the season but managed just seven points on 2-of-7 shooting. He was incredibly impactful for the Portland Trail Blazers in McCollum's absence but is slowly sliding into the background once again.

Published 20 Mar 2021, 11:09 IST
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