The Trail Blazers were adding 2+2 most of the game Friday night. The Mavericks were multiplying by 3. Portland shot 51.8 percent from the field against Dallas but were outdone by higher mathematics in a 120-112 loss at Dallas.
The Mavs made only 43.8 percent of their shots from the floor. But unfortunately for Portland, a furious third and fourth-quarter comeback fell short because Dallas made 20 three-point shots to just nine for Portland. That's giving up 33 points from behind the arc -- way too many for the wounded Trail Blazers to overcome. It didn't help, of course, that CJ McCollum played only 11 minutes after suffering what appeared to be an ankle sprain and Gary Trent had to return to the locker room in the fourth after feeling sick.
On top of that, Damian Lillard, who led the Blazers with 34 points and 10 assists, came into the game fighting the team's ever-present upper-respiratory illness and had to play 40 minutes. Hassan Whiteside made nine of his 10 shots, had 18 rebounds, 21 points and five blocks.
"We came out and had a good start of the game," Lillard said. "The amount of fight it took to make it a game, we ran out of gas at the end. Obviously, anytime you are a little bit sick it's going to have an affect on you on the floor. I ran out of gas at the end."
This loss was almost entirely the result of the lack of long-distance firepower -- and how well Dallas shot from long range. Portland outscored Dallas a whopping 62-30 in the paint, but you can't multiply any of those points in the paint by three.
After trailing by 17 points late in the third quarter, Portland cut the lead to four halfway through the fourth quarter and trailed by only six with 3:41 left. But the Blazers got nothing after that but a meaningless three-pointer by Anfernee Simons with 26.2 seconds to go. But the strange thing was, Dallas scored only five during that span.
The Blazers were 1-6 from the floor with two turnovers over that disastrous final 3:41.
And this beaten-up bunch gets no rest, as a Saturday night contest in Oklahoma City is at hand.