The Trail Blazers opened Sunday night’s rematch with the Dallas Mavericks with terrific offensive execution, jumping out to a 16-9 lead in the opening five minutes.
That, unfortunately for the Blazers, was the high point of the evening. Things started to turn in the second quarter and then went totally awry in the second half – when the Mavs opened the third quarter with a 19-0 run.
By the time the third quarter ended, Dallas had outscored Portland 38-15 and it was over.
The final was 132-92 and the obvious difference in the game was accuracy from the three-point line.
Dallas was 19-37 from long distance and the Trail Blazers were a painful 9-41.
That’s a 30-point difference just from the three-point line and way more than Portland could overcome.
Coach Terry Stotts stayed with it until the end, even challenging a foul call on Harry Giles in the fourth quarter with his team trailing by 39 points.
“I certainly don't throw up my hands,” Stotts said. “You know, you want to fight through it, you want to fight through with your team.
“When you have a night like this, (if) you play a little bit better offense, that helps your defense. They go hand in hand.
“You have nights like this, but I don't think anybody ever just throws up their hands. You still compete, you defend -- you never know what will happen throughout the game and sometimes, the game turns and sometimes it doesn't.
“And it didn't tonight.”
Luka Doncic riddled the Portland defense, scoring 37 points on 19 shots in a little fewer than 30 minutes. He was 8-9 from distance.
Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Carmelo Anthony, meanwhile, were 0-16 from three-point territory.
“I thought we started off with game pretty solid,” Lillard said. “We had the lead at the end of the first quarter. They just got it going, you know. They made a lot of threes.
“We made some mistakes and they were able to get going. And once they got going, you know, they were comfortable.
“We really depend on making threes. Anytime me, CJ and Melo go oh-for-16 or whatever, we're not gonna have much of a chance, especially when the other team shoots the way they did.”