Blazers Finish 2021-22 Road Schedule With A Loss In Dallas

by Casey Holdahl
Follow @chold

DALLAS -- One game to go.

The Portland Trail Blazers wrapped up a five-game trip and their 2021-22 road schedule with a 128-78 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in front of a sellout crowd of 20,174 Friday night at American Airlines Arena.

“I thought, for a lot of the game, we played hard,” said Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups. “(Dallas) is just a good team, just a good team. I got no complaints with our guys... I thought we played hard, for the most part, we just couldn’t make shots. We had some good-looking opportunities, just couldn’t make. And against this team you’ve got to try to keep up with the scoring and they’re a really good defensive team. So when you do get good looks, got to knock down a pretty nice portion of them.”

The Trail Blazers are now 27-54 overall, good for 13th in the Western Conference standings, with one game to play and finish the season with a road record of 10-31. Portland has now lost 10-straight and 14 of their last 15. And with the loss, the Trail Blazers have been swept 3-0 in their season series versus the Mavericks.

“My thing is, I just want us to fight,” said Billups. “There was a play there late in the game where I felt like -- there were a couple players that I got on in our huddle because we kind of just caved in and gave up on the play. To me, that’s unacceptable. It’s an honor and a privilege to play in this league and to get minutes in this league. And no matter what is going on in the game, you’ve still got to continue to fight. That’s the price of admission playing for me.”

Drew Eubanks led Portland with 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting, seven rebounds and a steal in 32 minutes. Ben McLemore surpassed the 5000-point mark for his career with 14 points while also tallying three assists and three steals in 31 minutes.

“It’s amazing, it’s a blessing,” said McLemore. “Obviously I’ve been in this league for nine years now, to reach that milestone, it’s tremendous. At a loss for words, really. Hard work and dedication.”

Keon Johnson was Portland’s only other double-digit scorer, posting 10 points on 3-of-13 shooting to go with six assists and a rebound in 30 minutes.

Mavericks guard Luka Doncic led all scorers with 39 points on `12-of-21 shooting while also contributing 11 rebounds, seven assists and a block in 30 minutes.

The Trail Blazers will now return home to host the Utah Jazz in the final game of the season for both teams Sunday night at Moda Center.

“It’s a good thing we’re back home for the last game,” said McLemore. “Hopefully we’ll have some momentum to finish the season off strong. That’s the biggest thing we’ve got to worry about. This is behind us now, this road trip, focus on the last game of the season, get a win in front of all of our fans.”

Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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