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One observation after the Dallas Mavericks fall to the Portland Trailblazers, 121-118

The Dallas Mavericks fell at home to the Portland Trailblazers on Sunday night, losing a barn burner 121-118. Damian Lilliard led the Blazers with 34 points and 11 assists. Luka Doncic poured in 44 points in defeat for Dallas.

The Blazers came out gunning in the first, connecting on 6-of-11 from beyond the arc and putting Dallas on their heels. The Mavericks, on the other hand, coming off a game where they hit a franchise record 25 threes, did not connect on a single three in the quarter and they took eight. Luka Doncic carried the Mavericks early, scoring any way he wanted and putting up 13 points. Dallas found themselves trailing after one quarter, 34-25.

Fortunes reversed themselves in the second quarter, with Dallas hitting seven from beyond the arc to just two for Portland. The Mavericks scored well for most of the period, getting Kristaps Porzingis involved and to the free throw line. But defensively, they continued to suffer allowing both putbacks and easy attempts at the rim. Once again Doncic caught fire offensively, hitting three straight threes after getting hit in the face on a drive. Portland found themselves frustrated with the officiating (Dallas had a 12-to-3 free throw advantage at the half) and Lillard picked up a technical foul. The Mavericks finally took a lead with just under a minute in the quarter and led 61-58 at the half.

With Doncic and Lillard connecting on threes to start the third quarter, it seemed like we might be in for another offensive shoot out. The Blazers kept fire whereas the Mavericks started oddly, attempting to get Porzingis going on offensive end which didn’t pan out and Dallas couldn’t contain the Blazers defensively. Portland shot an insane 15-of-21 for 45 points in the quarter and jumped ahead to a 103-91 lead heading into the fourth.

The Mavericks were unable to make a dent in the Portland lead with Luka on the bench, despite Jalen Brunson putting in work offensively. With 6:50 left in the game Portland was up 112-99 with the game well in hand. Their offense went frigid and the Mavericks started a slow and steady march to pull within one at 1:55 on the strength of 12-0 run. Lillard single-handedly kept the Blazers ahead until a Doncic pass to Dorian Finney-Smith for three tied things at 116 all. Lilliard once again answered the call, hitting a backbreaking three. The Mavericks would answer with a lay in to pull within one. The Blazers scored again on a busted play to lead by three. Doncic actually got an incredible look to send the game into overtime but he was unable to bury the triple. The Dallas Mavericks fell 121-118.

The defense is terrible across the board Read from source….