DALLAS – It looked as though the Trail Blazers had some carryover from Wednesday’s win over the Houston Rockets, as
Portland jumped out to a 12-2 lead over the Dallas Mavericks Friday.
Dallas started the game 0-for-5.
It wasn’t until four minutes into the game that the Mavs hit their first field goal when Luka Doncic drained a 27-foot three-pointer.
Despite Portland losing its starting shooting guard to an ankle injury early in the second quarter, the Blazers were down single digits heading into the final period.
It came down to the wire, but with timely stops and big-time threes, the Mavs were able to hold off the Blazers.
Here are three quick takeaways from Friday’s loss
1. McCollum leaves game with ankle sprain
Portland was forced to call a timeout at the 7:53 mark of the second quarter following CJ McCollum's hard take to the basket.
McCollum appeared to step on Mavericks' power forward Max Kleber’s right foot during his attempted lay-in at the 8:04 mark of the quarter.
Shortly after McCollum went back to the locker room with the team’s trainers, Blazers PR announced he would not return to the game due to a left ankle sprain. McCollum played just 12 minutes.
Blazers backup guard Gary Trent Jr. also left the game early in the fourth quarter. The reason was not immediately known.
2. Lillard plays through it
Damian Lillard was listed as questionable before the game tipped off with an upper respiratory infection.
But, it was hard to tell Lillard was dealing with the cold that has been going around the Blazers locker room.
The Trail Blazers All-Star point guard notched 11 points in the first 12 minutes of action. Lillard had it going from deep and down low. Heading into the fourth quarter, Lillard was 12-for-19 from the field with 32 points.
3. Doncic being Doncic
Just as Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said during his pregame interview, everything for the Mavs goes through Luka Doncic. The second-year player had his way from downtown against the Blazers.
Doncic started the game, attacking the rim, which then almost always resulted in him finding a teammate open under the hoop. He was on fire from deep too. He hit his first four three-point attempts and went 8-of-12 for the game.
Dallas fans on the concourse were proudly chanting “All-Star Luka” during halftime when Doncic had already recorded 23 points and five assists.
With Kristaps Porzingis (right knee soreness) and Ryan Broekhoff (left fibula fracture) both out against the Blazers, it was Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr. who picked up the slack on offense.
Up Next: Portland will play in its second leg of this current back-to-back when the Blazers visit Oklahoma City on Saturday. The Blazers and Thunder tip-off at 6:00p.m. PT.
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