Chris Haynes, CSNNW.com NBA & Trail Blazers InsiderDallas,Texas The Portland Trail Blazers hung in the game with the Dallas Mavericks all night until the fourth quarter. The Mavs outscored the Trail Blazers in the fourth by a score of 31-12, ultimately spoiling Terry Stotts' return to Dallas by defeating the Trail Blazers 114--91 at American Airlines Center.
The Trail Blazers exit this this three-game road trip1-2.
Rookie phenom Damian Lillard suffered the poorest performance of his young NBA career going 2-for-13 and 1-for-8 from downtown. He picked up two fouls in the first quarter that may have contributed to his off night. He finished the game with 13 points and five assist.
The Mavericks trapped him on pick-and-rolls and forced him to get the ball out of his hands. This is an adjustment that the Trail Blazers haven't seen yet, but they knew it was coming.
"It was just a matter of time before teams started trapping me," Lillard said. "I didn't do a good job of getting the ball to my teammates quickly enough out of the double-teams. It's something I'll look at on the flight back home and see what adjustments I can make."LaMarcusAldridge was handled differently tonight, as well. He saw a good amount of double-teams which led to him swinging the ball and never seeing it come back around. Despite the Mavericks game plan, he led the Trail Blazers with 20 points on 9-of-19 shooting to go along with seven rebounds.
"We just have to figure out where the open guys are when they trap and double-team us," Aldridge said. "It's a work in progress and it's not anything to panic about. This was a good game for us. We'll learn from it and make some changes."
The defensive end wasn't the only thing that was successful for the Mavericks, they also decided to step their game up offensively. TheMavericks shot 61 percent for the game led by the hot shooting ofbirthday boy O.J. Mayo. He celebrated his 25th birthdaytonight by going off for 32 points on 12-of-18 from the floor and hewas 6-for-8 from behind the arc.
"We can't win if the other team is shooting 62 percent and we're shooting 38 percent," Nicolas Batum said. "Mayo got in a rhythm and he never got out of it. This was a tough night."
In Mayo's last two games, he is 13-for-20 from downtown.
Wesley Matthews continued his stellar play adding 20 points, Batum chipped in 15 points and five rebounds, and J.J. Hickson grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
The bench for the Trail Blazers played their most productive game of the season contributing 17 points led by rookie Meyers Leonard who had six points and nine rebounds. The bench was without Victor Claver, who was deactivated in order to make room for Sasha Pavlovic (quad).
The Trail Blazers will get the day off Tuesday before they hit the practice court on Wednesday in preparation for a three-game home-stand beginning with the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.