Mavs Fall In Portland, 108-87
Unlike past games where the Dallas Mavericks have gotten off to thunderous starts, on Thursday in Portland they were unable to do so in an eventual 108-87 loss.
In the first half, the Mavs shot 39.2 percent to the Blazers 47.4 percent. The Mavs were also outrebounded by the Blazers 24-22.
Individually, Dallas wasn’t too good in the early going, either. Chandler Parsons was 1-of-7 from the field for two points with his lone assist coming on an alley-oop to Brandan Wright.
Dirk Nowitzki has 15 points, but it took 12 shot attempts to get him there. A bright spot was Dirk going on a roll and scoring eight consecutive points during one stage of the second quarter. Tyson Chandler didn’t score a single field goal, with his two points coming on free throws. And yet, through all of that, the Mavs, rather amazingly, still lead 50-46 at the half.
But for the game ... TY would end the game with just four points. And Parsons would improve his numbers to just 5-of-13 shooting for 11 points.
Though his stat line doesn’t scream dominance, LaMarcus Aldridge gave Portland a powerfully efficient game. The Mavs tried everything -- from early double-teams to putting Dirk on him, and Parsons, and even Richard Jefferson throughout the game -- but nothing worked. His final line was 10-of-16 for 20 points and seven rebounds in just under 30 minutes of play. It wasn’t all about Aldridge's point, though; It was the timing of his play and how it energized the team and the crowd. With two minutes left in the second quarter, Dirk hit a three-pointer. Aldridge came back on the other end and knocked down a jumper to answer back. To finish the half, Aldridge tipped in basket at the end of half.
Then, at the start of the third quarter, he hit a fade-away jumper on Dirk then came right back on the next possession and put it in a jumper and drew a foul.
He just kept coming at Dallas ... on and speaking of the third quarter …
The Blazers to started the third quarter on a 19-5 run and took the score from 50-46 to 65-55. The Mavs' struggles were highlighted on a series with just less than five minutes left in the third, when Jameer Nelson took a bad shot from three and missed. Wesley Johnson came down the other way and took a wide-open three and knocked it down, prompting a timeout from Carlisle. That was the story of the game in a nutshell: the Mavs kept taking shots that were not good looks, while the Blazers passed the ball around in a Spurs-like fashion and took what the defense gave them.
But even when the Mavs got a good look, oftentimes the ball just wasn’t going in for them. A 50-46 lead at the top of the quarter ended up being a 81-68 deficit at the end of three.
Dallas was outscored 35-18 in the period. It was the first time all season Mavs didn’t score 20 in a quarter.
"We better figure it out pretty quick,'' Dirk Nowitzki said. "Seems like we don't come out with any energy. That's really unfortunate, we have got to correct that. Teams are coming out in the second half determined to pick up the pressure and we have not responded."
The Mavs have been outscored in the third quarter in every game this season, for a cumulative score of 170-106.
"We've been doing a lot of good things but our defense has been inconsistent. We have to make a stand there. I have to look closely at what we're doing and make sure we're doing the right things and have the right guys in at the right times. We don't have a lot of time to sit around and mope." -- Mavs coach Rick Carlisle of the 3-2 Mavs who are in Utah tonight for the second of a back-to-back roadie.
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