Trail Blazers Best Mavericks For Second Time This Season

by Casey Holdahl
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DALLAS -- The Portland Trail Blazers have gotten timely production from various players on their roster during their recent run of quality play. From Shabazz Napier’s shooting and playmaking to Pat Connaughton’s finishing at the rim, Portland has gotten something valuable almost every night from their reserves during a stretch that has seen them win five of their last six.

Friday night in Dallas, it was Ed Davis’ turn.

The 6-10 center in his eighth season out of North Caroline put up season highs in points, rebounds and blocks while helping the Trail Blazers defeat the Mavericks 107-93 in front of a sellout crowd of 19,876 at American Airlines Arena.

With the win, the Trail Blazers improve to 27-22 overall and 13-12 on the road this season. The victory was also Terry Stotts’ 250th as coach of the team. He joins Gregg Popovich, Erik Spoelstra, Rick Carlisle, Dwane Casey as the only head coaches who have won at least 250 games with their current team.

It looked in the first quarter of Friday night's game that perhaps it would be Carlisle rather than Stotts adding to his career win total, as the Mavericks used a 15-2 run to take what would take a 25-13 lead, which would their largest of the night, with under a minute to play in the first quarter. But Portland would score the last four points to get the deficit under double digits before the start of the second quarter.

Dallas would hold the lead for the first part of the second quarter, but a the Trail Blazers would go on a 23-8 run to end the first half, turning a seven-point deficit into a 52-44 halftime lead. Damian Lillard did much of the damage, scoring 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting during the run, though Davis was even better, going 3-of-3 from the field and the free throw line for nine points to go with five rebounds in the quarter.

"The ball was finding me, rebounds were just falling into my hands," said Davis. "So just trying to bring a spark off the bench."

The Mavericks, having lost to the Blazers in Portland six days prior, answered back in the early going of the second half with a 12-2 run that cut the lead to 61-59 midway through the third quarter. But the Trail Blazers got a timely block on a Dennis Smith Jr. dunk attempt from Davis and a three-pointer from Al-Farouq Aminu late in the quarter to take a 75-68 lead into the fourth.

And it would be all Trail Blazers from there. The Mavericks kept the deficit within single digits for the first three and a half minutes of the fourth, but a 15-2 Portland run snuffed out any hope Dallas might have had of getting their first win this season against the Trail Blazers.

“We did a lot of good things tonight," said Stotts. "After a slow start our offense really picked up in the second quarter. It was a little disappointing that we had a lull in the third quarter but I really liked the way we finished.  Winning on the road is tough and it is good to get it."

TOP SCORERS

Despite going scoreless in the first quarter, Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard led all scorers with 29 points on 9-of-18 shooting to go with three assists and three rebounds in 36 minutes.

CJ McCollum scored 11 of his 20 points in the first quarter while also finishing with five assists and four rebounds in 33 minutes. Jusuf Nurkić added 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting to go with eight rebounds in 17 minutes.

Ed Davis had his best game of the season, putting up 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting, 13 rebounds and three blocks, all of which are season highs, in 27 minutes. Zach Collins added nine points and three rebounds despite battling foul trouble for much of the game.

Just three Mavericks scored in double figures led by 21 points from Harrison Barnes.

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NOTABLE

• Damian Lillard tallied a game-high 29 points (9-18 FGs, 3-8 3FGs, 8-11 FTs), including 11 in the second quarter and 14 in the fourth, to go along with three rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes. He scored 20-plus points for the 31st time in his first 42 games of the season.

• CJ McCollum totaled 20 points (9-14 FGs, 1-4 3FGs, 1-1 FTs), including 11 in the first quarter, to go along with four rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes. He scored at least 20 points for the 30th time in his first 48 games of the season.

• The Mavericks recorded only five turnovers (resulting in five points), while the Blazers committed 15 miscues (leading to 14 points). The five giveaways by Dallas were one shy of the franchise record for fewest in a game (4, achieved 10 times, including once this season). It was the Mavericks’ 11th game with single-digit turnovers this year.

QUOTABLE

"We have been in this situation in Denver, where we kind of had the lead over the course of the game and we just let it slip. So, I just got more aggressive down the stretch, just to try and bring it home. So, I was just trying to bring it home so that’s where my mind was.” -- Damian Lillard on his fourth-quarter performance

NEXT UP

The Trail Blazers now have three days off before heading to Los Angeles for a nationally-televised game versus the Clippers at Staples Center Tuesday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.