Wednesday’s game was the fourth and final meeting between Portland and Dallas this season as the Trail Blazers looked to even up the series.
In his unofficial farewell tour, the Trail Blazers fans started off the game by giving Dirk Nowitzki a nice ovation during introductions.
Portland jumped out to a comfortable lead early, leading by as many as 13 points. But, the NBA game is all about runs and Dallas did not quit; which is what you expect from a team who has been eliminated from the playoffs, yet still very much enjoy taking it at teams.
The Blazers, however, took care of business in the third quarter led by Damian Lillard’s 17 points in the quarter and Portland never looked back. The Trail Blazers defeated the Mavericks 126-118. Portland now improves to 44-27 on the season.
Here are some quick thoughts on the Blazers second straight victory:
1.Nurkic’s dunkfest game
The Moda Center crowd really got into the game after Jusuf Nurkic threw down some early dunks. Nurk took advantage of Nowitzki not being able to move as well as he once could and then had a nasty dunk over Mavs backup center Salah Mejri that brought the house down. It was definitely the highlight of the night.
2. Trent Jr. makes an earlier appearance
Trail Blazers rookie shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. subbed in for Seth Curry at the 2:52 mark of the second quarter.
Trent Jr. did not make a huge impact in his first half stint, but with the rookie earning real rotation minutes that proves Blazers head coach Terry Stotts really is giving a variety of guys a chance with CJ McCollum (left knee) out.
3. Lillard Time takes over
After only leading by 13 at halftime, Damian Lillard took matters into his own hands in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. Lillard scored 17 points in the third after scoring 16 points in the first two quarters. Lillard finished with 33 points and 12 assists.
This is 19th time of Lillard’s career he has had a 30 and 10 game, which ties Clyde Drexler for the most in Blazers history.
That Lillard third-quarter performance was a reminder that (to quote Coach Stotts) “Lillard is special.”
That performance also meant Lillard got to sit out the entire fourth quarter and in Game 70 of the season, we all know how important that is at this point in the year.
NEXT UP: The Blazers will have two days off until the next game as Portland continues its four-game homestand with game number three on Saturday. The Blazers host the Detriot Pistons with tip-off set for 7:00pm on NBC Sports Northwest.
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