DALLAS -- The Mavericks weren’t messing around on Sunday night as they got off to a hot start against the Trail Blazers.
Portland was looking to hand Dallas its first loss of the season, but a quick 17-7 start by the Mavs set the tone for a majority of the game. As the fourth quarter came around it wasn’t looking like that was in the cards for the Blazers.
Dallas scored 71 points in the first half, but the Blazers managed to claw back and send our heart rate into the stratosphere.
This game came down to the wire.
Here are three quick takeaways from the Blazers win over the Mavericks:
1. The Big-D Duo was having their way with the Blazers ‘D’
The Mavericks duo of point-forward Luka Doncic and big man Kristaps Porzingis has already developed good chemistry, and they’re just three games into the season. As Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said after yesterday’s practice, Doncic and Porzingis present so many different challenges because of how unique they both are on the floor.
Doncic showed off his playmaking ability. Doncic is such a great shooter. It’s natural and necessary to play tight on him, but because of that, Doncic can take a player off the dribble and find his way to the basket or find a teammate. He makes it look so easy, and his just a second-year player.
Zach Collins had the difficult task of guarding Porzingis. Porzingis saw most of his success on the night by taking Collins out to the three-point line or right inside the line.
Unfortunately for Collins, he left the game late in the third quarter and did not return after suffering a left shoulder injury.
2. Hood bringing it on both ends
With so much of Dallas’ focus on Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, things opened up for Rodney Hood. Hood started the game going a perfect 3-for-3 from deep. He was Mr. Consistent, and the first Blazer to reach double figures. What made his solid offensive night even more impressive is that he had to spend extra energy guarding Doncic at various points throughout the game. There can be nights when a player has that tough of a defensive assignment, their offense isn’t really there, but Hood was up for the challenge.
3. #LillardTime alive and well
After struggling in the first half, only scoring two points, Lillard got the Blazers back in the game with his 18 points in the third quarter. However, it was CJ McCollum who kept the Blazers in the game in the first half. Knowing the Mavs sometimes like to play with a smaller lineup, it seemed like the Blazers missed an opportunity by not trying to get Hassan Whiteside involved more on the offensive end. Yet in the end, the Blazers got the job done.
Up Next: Portland will play in its second leg of this current back-to-back when the Blazers visit San Antonio on Monday. The Blazers and Spurs tip-off at 5:30p.m. PT.
Check back throughout tonight and tomorrow for more articles and videos from the players!