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Game 21: Mavs at Trail Blazers presented-by-bbva-2 Subscribe via RSS

Mavericks vs. Trail Blazers

Monta Ellis hits a 21-foot jumper at the buzzer and the Mavericks snap the Trail Blazers' four-game winning streak.

PORTLAND — Despite entering Saturday night flying high after back-to-back wins over Charlotte and New Orleans, the Dallas Mavericks admittedly faced a far more formidable foe as they continued a stretch of four straight road games.

Matching up against the Western Conference-leading Portland Trail Blazers, the Mavs attempted to improve on a 3-6 mark away from home coming into the night. Meanwhile, the Mavericks hoped to hand the Trail Blazers just their second home defeat of the young season.

And thanks to a vintage fourth-quarter performance by 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki and buzzer-beating jumper by leading scorer Monta Ellis, the Mavericks (13-8) accomplished all of the above, leaving the Moda Center with a 108-106 victory under their belt.

“It was definitely a fun game to be a part of,” Nowitzki said after ending the Blazers’ four-game win streak. “I mean, here, the fans are as good as it gets in this league. The team is hot, so this was a fun atmosphere and fun game to play for us. We’re fortunate to get out with a win. (Heck) of a team effort.”

Catching the Trail Blazers (17-4) on the second night of a rare home-home back-to-back after Friday’s 130-98 blowout win over Utah, the Mavericks tried to get off to a fast start. Sticking with big man DeJuan Blair over center Samuel Dalembert in the starting lineup, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle would see his team come out of the gates fast while jumping out to an 11-4 edge behind Ellis.

Play of the Day – Monta Ellis

Monta Ellis beats the Portland Trail Blazers with the deep jumper at the buzzer.

But the Blazers would charge right back behind the duo of reigning Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard and All-Star big man LaMarcus Aldridge, taking a 30-28 edge after 12 minutes of play.

A vintage and athletic finish by sixth man Vince Carter would get the Mavs going to open the second stanza, before Nowitzki and Ellis went back on the attack. The Mavs also got a lift from Gal Mekel, as Carlisle continued to hand the backup point guard minutes to the 25-year-old Israeli rookie behind starter Jose Calderon. Calderon then returned to the floor to help the Mavs sneak into the locker room with a 55-53 advantage at the intermission.

Led by Ellis’ 15 first-half points to answer Lillard’s 19 points at the other end, the Mavs lit the net on fire while connecting on 58.1 percent from the field as a team through two quarters, bettering the Blazers’ 44.2 percent. However, Portland remained in the game behind a 24-15 rebounding advantage and 17-6 margin in second-chance points.

After a 3-pointer by four-time All-Star Shawn Marion got the Mavs on the board to open the third, Nowitzki took matters into his own hands, draining a vintage fadeaway jumper before adding a trey of his own.

“We were throwing it to him every time,” Carlisle said as the Mavs tried to milk Nowitzki in the second half. “You know, he’s going to cause something to happen, something good, and he’s going to make it tough on them, so we’ve got to get the ball in his hands. He delivered about five or six times in a row, so that was huge.”

Back-to-back scores by Blair then forced a Portland timeout as the Mavs threatened to pull away, charging ahead by 10. But the Blazers once again charged back, scoring 10 unanswered points to tie the game at 71-all. Still, with Nowitzki dishing out his seventh assist of the night to second-year standout Jae Crowder for a three, the Mavs took a 79-76 edge into the final quarter.

With his team being tested, Nowitzki would step in yet again with a 3-pointer early in the fourth to extend the lead to four, 82-78. Mekel followed suit, capitalizing off stellar ball movement to extend the lead to seven with a triple from the wing and forcing a Portland timeout with 8:40 still left on the clock as Carlisle continued to stick with his young contributors.

Monta Ellis’ Game Winner

Monta Ellis makes the deep jumper at the buzzer to beat the Trail Blazers in Portland.

That’s when Lillard began to put his team on his back, capping a furious rally with back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game at 94-all with 3:58 remaining. Not to be outdone, Nowitzki fired back, putting the Mavs ahead by four with back-to-back timely jumpers. The 7-footer wasn’t done, converting on a three-point play over Lillard from the mid-range before Ellis’ corner 3-pointer gave the Mavs a 104-100 edge.

Nowitzki’s one-legged fadeaway then tried to put the Blazers away with 45.5 seconds, prior to the Dallas defense allowing a triple by Nicolas Batum. Ellis’ turnover on the sideline then sent the ball back over to the Blazers with 6.8 seconds left, leading to Lillard’s double-clutch three over Marion with 1.9 ticks left for the Mavs to answer.

“We were up six with under a minute to go. It feels like we’re the only team always giving up threes to tie. I watch a lot of League Pass, and other teams don’t do it. So, when Lillard pump faked and hit that shot, I just knew it was going in. And then fortunately we had two seconds time, and Monta made a (heck) of a play,” Nowitzki foreshadowed.

Carlisle then drew up an inbound play from the team’s morning shootaround for Ellis working off of Blair’s screen, draining a 21-footer to send the Mavs off the court with the win.

“You know, it was a play Coach [Carlisle] drew up today, this morning. We didn’t expect to use it tonight, but we did and came out with a shot,” a modest Ellis said. “That was first option. If that wasn’t open, the second option was for Vince in the corner or Jose coming off of a screen. But we got the first option and came out with the win.”

Leading the Mavs to the win was Nowitzki, who finished the night with 28 points on 12-of-22 shooting and 3 of 4 from 3-point range, adding six rebounds and seven assists to boot. Including the game winner, Ellis added 22 points on 9-of-18 shooting, while Calderon and Blair both pitched in 15 points.

Lillard led four Blazers in double figures with a game-high 32 points on 9-of-18 shooting and 5 of 9 from long range. The Mavs also overcame Portland’s 50-36 rebounding edge and 25-14 advantage in second-chance points, scoring 54 points in the paint and shooting 52.9 percent from the field to the Blazers’ 44.8 percent.

“We knew we had a chance tonight,” Carlisle concluded. “These guys have been playing great, but it’s hard to keep a streak like this going and going and going. But they’re awfully good, and we dodged a bullet at the end.”

“The good thing is we’ve got to start winning on the road, and tonight was a great win to give us momentum to finish this road trip the way that we want to,” Ellis added. “We’ll take it game by game, but it was (against) a great team. Crazy game, and thank God that we came out with the win.”

Note: The Mavericks will now continue their tough road stretch in Sacramento for a matchup Monday night against the Kings. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 9 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Saturday, Dec. 14, against O.J. Mayo and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 91-83 victory in Milwaukee back on Nov. 9. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.

Ellis Air Attack

Monta Ellis avoids the defender while in the air and makes the difficult lay-in.
Dallas Mavericks
PLAYER MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Shawn Marion, F322-41-30-004410011-75
Dirk Nowitzki, F3513-233-41-1156701031630
DeJuan Blair, C236-90-03-4178010141215
Monta Ellis, G398-172-32-201141034020
Jose Calderon, G327-100-11-202272014-115
Vince Carter254-130-30-013440043-118
Samuel Dalembert110-10-00-011210110-70
Jae Crowder151-21-10-00220300003
Gal Mekel123-41-10-00112001257
Wayne Ellington00-00-00-00000000000
Bernard James112-40-01-23360010035
Devin Harris00-00-00-00000000000
Shane Larkin00-00-00-00000000000
Ricky Ledo00-00-00-00000000000
Brandan Wright00-00-00-00000000000
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF   PTS
46-878-168-117293626731221 108
52.9%50.0%72.7%
Portland Trail Blazers
PLAYER MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Nicolas Batum, F378-174-102-423561150022
LaMarcus Aldridge, F387-160-05-6491321032-219
Robin Lopez, C336-90-02-2861410212-114
Wesley Matthews, G342-100-40-01674101104
Damian Lillard, G379-185-99-901150012232
Mo Williams223-90-40-012331023-46
Joel Freeland130-00-00-013410021-20
Dorell Wright131-40-31-300000000-33
Thomas Robinson93-40-00-00330001206
Will Barton00-00-00-00000000000
Victor Claver00-00-00-00000000000
Allen Crabbe00-00-00-00000000000
Meyers Leonard00-00-00-00000000000
CJ McCollum00-00-00-00000000000
Earl Watson00-00-00-00000000000
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF   PTS
39-879-3019-2417335022431613 106
44.8%30.0%79.2%

PORTLAND — While much is made of the need to contain All-Star big man LaMarcus Aldridge when playing the Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle admits that his team will also have its hands full on the perimeter as well.

Friday night, the Trail Blazers (17-3) set a franchise record while connecting on 17 of 23 from beyond the 3-point arc en route to a 130-98 blowout win over Utah to make it 15 victories in a 16-game span. One night later, however, Carlisle and the Mavericks (12-8) will try to take the 3-point assault out of Portland’s attack.

“They’re a top 3-point shooting team to begin with, and the fact that they broke a record last night is really consistent with the season that they’re having,” Carlisle said following his team’s Saturday morning walkthrough. “I mean, they’re playing at a level that’s at the top of the league right now, so threes are a big part of their game and we know that. They average 10 makes in wins and eight in losses, and there’s not a discernible huge difference there. One of the goals is you want to try to keep them under 10 threes made, and a lot of it is awareness … and you’ve got to find there guys and take them away.”

Still, with Aldridge averaging a double-double inside while putting up 23.4 points and 10.0 rebounds a game this season, Carlisle confesses that the Mavs may have to pick their poison as they try to hand the Blazers a second home loss. And while not tipping his hand on whether or not he’ll decide to send a double-team Aldridge’s way to get the ball out of the Seagoville native’s hands, Carlisle shifted the attention to his own team’s offensive attack, as the Mavs try to continue taking good care of the ball while averaging just 11 turnovers in the last seven games. 

“Look, sometimes teams are so good you’ve got to be able to do everything. You’ve got to be able to play straight and get to 3-point shooters, you’ve got to be able to double-team and get to 3-point shooters, and it’s going to start with what we do with the ball. You know, we have to take care of the ball and get good shots, and then from there our offense is going to set the table for our defense. If we’re efficient with it, you know, it will give us a better chance to get matched up. If we’re not, it makes it harder,” Carlisle concluded.

Note: The Mavericks continue their tough road stretch in Portland for a matchup Saturday against the Trail Blazers. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 9 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Saturday, Dec. 14, against O.J. Mayo and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 91-83 victory in Milwaukee back on Nov. 9. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.

 

PORTLAND — Although their records don’t indicate it, the Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers will take the court as virtual mirror images of each other Saturday night at the Moda Center.

Led by reigning Coach of the Month and former Mavericks assistant coach Terry Stotts, the Trail Blazers (17-3) have sprinted out of the gates en route to the best record in the Western Conference. Still, with a familiarity with Stotts’ system and philosophy, the Mavericks (12-8) enter Saturday night’s showdown confident that they can compete while trying to collect their third overall win in a row.

“They couldn’t have gotten a better coach for that situation,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said with high praise for the work that Stotts has done this season. “I mean, he’s transformed that whole thing — style of play, they move the ball, they score. And this year they’re defending better, because they have better defensive players. Mo Williams and [Robin] Lopez are good defenders. Lopez is an impact big guy on defense, and Mo Williams is a good defender on the perimeter pressuring the ball. You know, it’s really changed their team a lot.”

But, just like the rest of the league, the Mavs will have to find a way to slow down All-Star big man LaMarcus Aldridge and reigning Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard if they are going to end Portland’s four-game winning streak and hand the Blazers just their second home loss.

Playing the front end of a rare home-home back-to-back, the Blazers feasted on the NBA’s worst team Friday night, hitting 17 of 23 from beyond the 3-point arc en route to a 130-98 rout of Utah and 15th win in their last 16 games. Still, with Aldridge putting up All-Star numbers once again, averaging 23.4 points and 10.0 rebounds on the season, the Dallas defense knows it will have its hands full for 48 minutes.

“It’s not really a surprise. [Aldridge] should have been an All-Star a couple of years, to be honest. I always put the case in the last couple of years, so I think he’s a versatile player,” 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said of his counterpart. “He can pound you on the left block, he can pick and pop, he’s a good defender and a good rebounder, so to me he’s always been the whole package. He’s just showing more of the same, and they have a better team around him.

“They run some of the same stuff, but I told Terry last year he took all of our plays up there. I told him last year, ‘You could have at least changed the names of the plays,’ and he said he did on a couple but not on all of them. So, yeah, they’re really playing well. And what makes them so great is they’ve got all these shooters around [Aldridge]. They post him a lot, but if you double team him [Wesley] Matthews is shooting the ball well, [Nicolas] Batum and Lillard, who’s a great point guard. So, I mean, you’ve got to pick and choose against that team.”

The Mavericks hope to choose correctly, attempting to build off Wednesday’s 100-97 win in New Orleans to begin a stretch of four straight road games.

Note: The Mavericks continue their tough road stretch in Portland for a matchup Saturday against the Trail Blazers. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 9 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Saturday, Dec. 14, against O.J. Mayo and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 91-83 victory in Milwaukee back on Nov. 9. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.

 

3 comments
Swish7_kr
Swish7_kr

Ellis! Finish them! Good call Rick. I think its time for the Mavs to get rid of Carter.  He is done now.

Oldbutslow
Oldbutslow

Great game for a lot of players. Dirk has been so good in the fourth, but that's nothing new. It was nice to see James get important minutes and play so well. If he can keep that up, I'd rather see him out there than Dalembert, who has clearly been leaving his basketball IQ and experience on the bench with his warmups lately. He could hardly have played worse tonight.


Now for my usual tirade about Vince. WHY is he getting so many minutes and being allowed to take so many shots? If the Mavs had lost tonight, it would have been because of his horrendous 4th quarter, where he came in, promptly missed four out of five shots (three of which were terrible shots to begin with), let his man score easily at least once. He was a great player and still has good nights (usually mainly when he rebounds well), but his average is horrible, his shot selection awful, and his presence on the court generally results in a point swing favorable to the opponent. On a night in which the team shot 52% plus, and everyone but Dalembert (0-1) shot at least 50%, Vince goes 4/13. Why? Because HE IS TAKING TERRIBLE SHOTS AND KEEPS TAKING THEM. Please stop this.

humanraindelay
humanraindelay

Yes,  great team win.  Loved seeing James and Mekel contribute in the same game. Really want those guys to succeed. What a pickup Blair has been. Keep playing like that.   Yes Dalembert's inconsistent motor/commitment is frustrating. I don't know if we could expect much differently. That's what he's been.    Fortunately Blair has been a surprise, Sarge is starting to earn more minutes and Wright is due back any time.  Let's see what happens over the next set of 20 games.   


      I agree about Carter,  he's lost too much efficiency to justify his continual play.  He's either got to improve that or we think about packaging his expiring deal and perhaps Larkin to the Eastern Conference. Having said that, I think there are too many positives right now to be concerned with it just yet. We'll revisit in January. Go Mavs!