PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)Damian Lillard had another big performance, scoring a game-high 47 points. But a tough loss and issues with the officiating had the Portland Trail Blazers star in a foul mood.
Luka Doncic scored 27 points to go with nine assists and six rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks made 22 3-pointers in a 133-125 victory Thursday night with a complete team performance that overcame Lillard’s hot shooting.
After picking up a technical foul in the final seconds, Lillard voiced his frustrations with the officiating.
”We’re down by 13 with four minutes left, I was driving for a reverse layup and I got smacked on the head,” Lillard said. ”I asked (the referee) why he didn’t call it and he said, all three of us agreed you leaned into him.
”That’s an insult, man.”
One game after scoring a career-high 61 points, Lillard became the first player in franchise history to score 100 points over two games.
”Before the game, I tried to pass a note down to their locker room to tell Lillard that he had my All-Star vote,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. ”Obviously, he didn’t get the note, but he had my vote before he went for 47 against us. What an amazing player. He’s virtually impossible to stop. He’s got an iron will. He’s obviously a great leader.
”When he’s on the floor they’re hard to beat no matter what.”
The Mavericks needed Doncic, who scored 20 of his points in the first half, and plenty of help in the win.
Dallas had six players make at least three 3-pointers, and it was the sixth time this season the Mavericks made 20 3s, with Seth Curry and Jalen Brunson leading the way with four each.
The 43 combined 3-pointers made by Dallas and Portland tied an NBA record.
Trevor Ariza, recently acquired in a trade from Sacramento, scored a season-high 21 in his Portland debut.
”I thought he was terrific,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts.
Lillard’s hot shooting alone wasn’t enough to stay in front of a high-powered Mavericks team that has the league’s No. 1 ranked offense. Although Dallas went off for a monstrous 45-point quarter to begin the game, Lillard kept Portland within striking distance.
The Mavericks cooled in the second quarter – but only a little bit. They pushed their lead to as high as 17 in the second quarter. Even after missing their last eight 3-pointers to end the half, they still led 78-63 at halftime.
After the Mavericks’ lead ballooned to as much as 25 in the third quarter, Lillard got hot again. He scored nine straight points in the third quarter to cut the lead to 11 with under five minutes left in the quarter. Another 3-pointer by Carmelo Anthony cut the lead to eight and it was a 17-0 run before the Mavericks snapped it on a 3-pointer from Dorian Finney-Smith with 3:19 left in the third. Dallas led 103-90 after three quarters.
After losing center Dwight Powell to a season-ending Achilles injury, the Mavericks played more with Kristpas Porzingis at center.
”We’re running out of big men, so were going to be smaller in a lot of these situations,” Carlisle said. ”This is an adjustment that we needed to make tonight, so we had a lot of spacing to attack the paint. Him being on the floor creates problems for the other team defensively.”
Porzingis had 20 points and five rebounds while shooting 3 of 4 from the 3-point line.
Mavericks: Doncic earned his first All-Star selection Thursday. ”So excited for him, so excited for our franchise,” Carlisle said. ”It’s so well-deserved. It’s just a really exciting time – for our team, for him, for his career and certainly the future.” The NBA announced that Doncic would be in the pool of starting players from the Eastern and Western Conference to be selected by All-Star captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Trail Blazers: Thursday was the first game for three new players on the Blazers acquired in a trade from Sacramento: Ariza, Caleb Swanigan and Wenyen Gabriel. Stotts told reporters that Ariza would start upon arrival and that his veteran experience makes it easier for Portland to operate like usual. ”A lot of the actions, he’s seen before,” Stotts said. ”We’ve thrown a lot at him. Since he’ll be out there with four other guys who know what’s going on, it shouldn’t be too difficult for him. For other players, it will be more difficult.”
Mavericks: at Utah on Saturday night.
Trail Blazers: home vs. Indiana on Sunday night.
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