Game 28 Recap: Mavs vs Trail Blazers

Image Credit: @MavsPR Credit

On Sunday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Portland Trailblazers in hopes of keep their winning streak alive. During this winning streak the Mavericks have climbed from 14th to tied for 9th in the western conference. A win here would be huge as it gets them back into the playoff chase. The Mavericks hope that this snowstorm won’t impact their playing style as they want to remain hot.

On Friday, the Mavericks played the New Orleans Pelicans as they tried to remain hot and keep their momentum going. The Mavericks started this game slow after trailing 34-27 at the end of the first quarter. Once the first quarter had passed, the Mavericks never looked back as they started to catch on fire by shooting the lights out of the ball. The Pelicans did everything they could to cool off the Mavericks but it didn’t work, as the Mavericks claimed a 143-130 victory. Luka Doncic went off as he posted a career-high 46 points, Kristaps Porzingis added 36 points as they were able to overcome Zion Williamson’s career-best 36 points in the win. The Mavericks made a franchise-record 25 3-pointers as they couldn’t stop making them in the game. The Mavericks finished the game shooting above 50% for the third consecutive game while improving to 7-0 when scoring more than 120 points. With the win, the Mavericks extended their winning streak to four games while improving their record to 13-14 on the season.

The Portland Trailblazers are coming into this game by going 6-4 in their last 10 games. They are recently coming off a 129-110 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday to extend their winning streak to three games, while improving their record to 15-10 on the season. They currently stand at fifth in the western conference as they try to secure a top seed for the playoffs. This team is led by Damian Lillard as he is averaging 29 points per game, which is good enough for fourth in the NBA. The Trailblazers are looking to build off of last season which resulted in being eliminated by the eventual NBA champion, Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. This team certainly has the pieces to make another run in the playoffs.

Coming into this game, the Mavericks split their season series 2-2 last season against the Trailblazers but it was the Trailblazers claiming the most recent win as they beat the Mavericks 134-131 on August 11th, 2020 in the NBA bubble. The Mavericks have gone 39-21 (.650) in their last 60 meetings against the Trailblazers. Overall, the Mavericks hold the all-series with a record of 86-75.

The Mavericks started this game continuing to go with the same line up that started this winning streak which features Josh Richardson and Dorian Finney-Smith in the starting five. If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it and that’s exactly what the Mavericks are doing. This marks the eighth consecutive game with this exact same lineup. The first points of the game would belong to Maxi Kleber as he made a two-point shot for the Mavericks to get this game underway. The first points for the Trailblazers would belong to Damian Lillard as he ties the game by making a 10-foot step back jump shot with 10:57 left in the first quarter. The Trailblazers had their first lead of the game as they had Robert Covington make a 26-foot three pointer to give them a 5-2 lead. The Mavericks took the lead right back as they went to Luka Doncic for his first points of the game as he made a 12-foot jump shot to retake the lead at 6-5 with 9:39 left in the quarter. The Trailblazers decided that they had enough of this seesawing and went on a 9-2 run to take a 14-8 lead. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 7:19 left in the quarter as he had seen enough of the Trailblazers scoring points as they took a 14-8 lead. Prior to the timeout, the 3-ball wasn’t working for the Mavericks, as they went 0 for 4 on their three pointers taken. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Josh Richardson as he was able to convert on a free-throw line jumper to come within 14-10 of the Trailblazers. The Mavericks continued to get snowplowed by coming empty on multiple possessions as their offense were as cold as the weather. The Trailblazers took advantage of the Mavericks miscues as they were able to extend their lead to 19-10 with 5:19 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were still looking for their first made three pointer as they couldn’t nail one as of yet. Double technical fouls would be called on Dorian Finney-Smith and Enes Kanter with 3:30 left in the quarter as they both were battling for the rebound. That wouldn’t matter as the Trailblazers kept piling it on the Mavericks by simply bullying them in the paint to take a 29-19 lead. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 2:42 left in the quarter as he had trouble finding out why the Mavericks were continuing to shoot threes if they weren’t falling in the hoop. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to everybody but neither could put the ball in the hoop within one-foot of the basket thus coming out empty on the possession. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Trailblazers were able to keep their lead and take a 34-25 lead into the second quarter. It appeared that somebody put a lid on the basket for the Mavericks as they completely struggled on offense. The game leading scorer after one quarter of play would belong to Luka Doncic as he scored 13 points for the Mavericks. The Mavericks struggled with their three pointers as they missed all 8 attempts taken. The Trailblazers were led by Damian Lillard as scored 9 points on four of 10 shooting from the field. The Mavericks would need to warm up quickly if they want to have any shot at this one.

The Trailblazers allowed the Mavericks to get their first points in the second quarter as Jalen Brunson hit a jump shot to come within 34-27 of the Trailblazers. The Trailblazers were able to finally get their first points in this quarter as Harry Gilles tipped the ball in the hoop after the Mavericks failed to grab the rebound on multiple attempts. The first three pointer of the game for the Mavericks finally came as Maxi Kleber nailed one with 10:17 left in the quarter to come within 36-30 of the Trailblazers. The Trailblazers would call a timeout with 10:16 left in the quarter as they saw the Mavericks starting to generate some offense. Coming out of the timeout, the Trailblazers couldn’t convert as they turned the ball over, resulting in a turnover. Boy the Trailblazers weren’t even guarding the Mavericks offense as they gave them a ton of room to shoot three pointers and every time they shot it, they would miss it. Despite the Mavericks going cold on their three pointers, they still made it a 38-35 game as the Trailblazers were beating themselves. The Mavericks finally tied the game 38-38 by going to Maxi Kleber as he nailed a three pointer with 7:40 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were absolutely fortunate to be in this position as the Trailblazers had the perfect opportunity to runaway with this game but couldn’t. Maybe that was the Trailblazers’ Valentine’s Day gift to the Mavericks because the Mavericks had no business in tying this game up. After both teams exchanged shots, the Trailblazers turned to Harry Giles as he made a 18-foot shot to give them a 44-42 lead that resulted in Rick Carlisle calling a timeout with 5:29 left in the quarter. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks had an offensive foul call on Tim Hardaway Jr as they couldn’t convert and turned the ball over, resulting in a turnover. The Mavericks were able to tie the game again at 47-47 as Luka Doncic found a cutting Josh Richardson to make an easy layup with 3:39 left in the quarter. The Trailblazers retook the lead by a basket by Damian Lillard but Willie Cauley-Stein was able to tie the game again at 49-49 with 2:43 left in the quarter by nailing both free-throws. With 1:42 left in the quarter, the officials were reviewing a potential flagrant foul on Derrick Jones Jr as he whacked Luka Doncic in the face. After the review, the officials would rule that it was in deed a flagrant foul and Luka Doncic got two free-throws and the ball. Luka Doncic nailed those flagrant foul free-throws and nailed a three pointer to tie the game once again at 54-54 with 1:30 left in the quarter. The Mavericks finally retook the lead as Luka Doncic again made another three pointer to give them a 57-54 lead with 58.3 seconds left in the quarter. In the final seconds of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to hold onto their lead and take a 61-58 lead at halftime. The game leading scorer after two quarters of play would belong to Luka Doncic as he had 24 points. The Trailblazers were led by Damian Lillard as he had 11 points on five of 16 shooting from the field. The reason why the Mavericks have the lead was Luka Doncic, as he scored 11 points in the second quarter. The Mavericks flipped the switch as they were able to overcome their cold start.

Coming out of the half, the Mavericks started this third quarter hot as the 3-ball was starting to fall for them by having Dorian Finney-Smith and Luka Doncic nail three pointers on back-to-back possessions to take a 67-60 lead with 10:58 left in the quarter. The Trailblazers were able to keep up with the Mavericks pace as they tied the game at 70-70 with 8:56 left in the quarter by having Damian Lillard make a three pointer. With Maxi Kleber missing a 23-foot three pointer, the Trailblazers were able to retake the lead as a result by having Robert Covington nail a three pointer to give them a 73-70 lead with 8:25 left in the quarter. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 7:00 minutes left in the quarter as the Trailblazers were starting to heat up as they extended their lead to 76-72 as a result of Gary Trent Jr nailing a three pointer. Prior to the timeout, the Trailblazers went on a 13-1 run that was good enough to overtake the lead from the Mavericks. The weather might be cold outside but this game was not as it provided all the heat from both teams. This is quickly turning into a classic by both teams competing hard. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks couldn’t convert as Josh Richardson turned the ball over which resulted in Gary Trent Jr scoring two points while being fouled and completed the “three point play” by nailing the free-throw to take a 79-72 Trailblazers lead. The Mavericks again played sloppy as Luka Doncic turned the ball over on a bad pass and Gary Trent Jr was there to finish it off with a slam dunk to make it a 81-72 Trailblazers lead with 6:31 left in the quarter. The Mavericks slowly started to rebound from their miscues by having four straight possessions of nailing three pointers as Dorian Finney Smith was the latest to hit one to make it a 88-84 Trailblazers lead with 4:26 left in the quarter. The Trailblazers would call a timeout with 2:46 left in the quarter leading 93-86 as the Mavericks were right there with them. Prior to the timeout, the Mavericks were three of six shooting from behind the arc as they hope to continue to nail three pointers. Coming out of the timeout, the Trailblazers played good defense as Jalen Brunson missed a three pointer for the Mavericks. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks couldn’t comeback to tie it as the Trailblazers took a 103-91 lead in the fourth quarter. The game leading scorer after three quarters of play would belong to Luka Doncic as he had 34 points on 11 of 15 shooting from the field. The Trailblazers were led by Damian Lillard as he had 27 points on 10 of 23 shooting from the field. The Mavericks saw the lead that they had collapse late in this third quarter and that could be the reason why they won’t be able to overcome and win this game.

The Mavericks got their first points in the fourth quarter by going to Tim Hardaway Jr as he nailed a layup in the first possession to come within 103-93 of the Trailblazers with 11:29 left in the game. The Mavericks again got points on their following possession as Kristaps Porzingis nailed a two point shot to come within 106-95 of the Trailblazers with 11:04 left in the game as every possession becomes crucial for the reminder of the game. The Mavericks were able to generate some stops on defense by preventing the Trailblazers to score any points as that’s exactly what the Mavericks needed. What the Mavericks don’t need is to come empty on offense as that’s exactly what Tim Hardaway Jr did by missing a three pointer which resulted in Harry Giles making one of two free-throws to make it a 108-97 Trailblazers lead with 8:52 left in the game. The first made bucket from Trailblazers came with 8:18 left in the game a Carmelo Anthony nailed a two point shot to make it a 110-97 Trailblazers lead. The Trailblazers would call a timeout leading 110-99 with 7:52 left as a result of Harry Gilies suffering an apparent injury. Coming out of the timeout, the Trailblazers turned to Carmelo Anthony but couldn’t convert as he missed a two point shot. Time was slipping away from the Mavericks if they want any chance to tie or potentially take the lead as hopes to go on a scoring run was becoming slimmer and slimmer. All the Trailblazers had to do for the reminder of 5:30 left in the game was to score any points because of the amount of lead that they had as they currently had a 11 point lead. That was easier said than done as the Trailblazers went cold at the wrong time which is what the Mavericks needed and took advantage of as they were able to make it a 112-107 Trailblazers lead by scoring points on their recent three possessions. The Trailblazers would call a timeout as a result of the Mavericks threat with 3:21 left in the game. Coming out of the timeout, the Trailblazers turned to Gary Trent Jr but couldn’t convert as he missed a three pointer thus giving the Mavericks hope. Luka Doncic nailed a layup on the following possession to give him his second consecutive game with 40+ points as that gave him 40 while coming within 112-109 of the Trailblazers with 2:33 left in the game. With 1:22 left in the game, the Trailblazers used their “coach’s challenge” by calling a timeout to review a foul call on Robert Covington that would send Kristaps Porzingis to the free-throw line. After the review, the officials ruled that it was a foul and the ruling was upheld thus sending Porzingis to the free-throw line where he would nail his free-throws to come within 114-113 of the Trailblazers. The Mavericks would foul Damian Lillard as that sent him to the free-throw line where nailed both to make it a 116-113 Trailblazers lead with 1:06 left in the game. Dorian Finney-Smith nailed a clutch three pointer for the Mavericks as he tied the game at 116-116 but it was all for not as Damian Lillard answered to retake the lead at 119-116 with 32.8 seconds left in the game. The Mavericks would call a timeout with 6.9 seconds left in the game with a chance to tie the game with a three pointer and send this game to overtime trailing 121-118. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic as he tried to tie the game by attempting a three pointer but couldn’t convert but the Mavericks had another chance as the ball apparently went off of a Trailblazer player. The officials would review the play to see which team would get possession in the final 2 seconds of the game. After the review, the officials overturned the call thus giving the Trailblazers possession as the ball went off of Jalen Brunson.

This team looked like they were still cold from the weather but eventually started to warm up, the longer they were in the arena. This game looked like it was ready for Damian Lillard to take over but that didn’t happen in the first half as he couldn’t heat up. At one point, the Mavericks couldn’t nail a single three pointer but they continued to play hard and eventually those started to fall in the hoop. The opportunity was there for the Mavericks to take over the game but collapsed late in the third quarter and ultimately costed the game.

In the end, it was the Portland Trailblazers defeating the Dallas Mavericks 121-118 in the final seconds. The Mavericks record dropped to 13-15 on the season as their winning streak was snapped. Luka Doncic finished the game with 44 points and 9 assists as that wasn’t enough for a victory. The Trailblazers were led by Damian Lillard as he finished with 34 points and 11 assists. With the loss, the Mavericks are 4-2 during this seven game home stand. Remember to stay warm and stay safe during this snowstorm.

The Mavericks will stay at the American Airlines one more time as the final game of this home stand will be on Wednesday as they host the Detroit Pistons. If all goes well, they will meet a familiar face, Dennis Smith Jr as he was once part of the Mavericks before being traded. This will be another anticipating matchup as it will give us a chance to see Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr battle it out on the court.

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