Final: Mavs 115, Blazers 112
Box Score | Highlights
Behind the Box Score
The Mavs had 9 deflections in the first half alone after forcing just 5 of them against the Kings. Dallas is 8-0 this season in games when the club forces more than 10 deflections. Positive activity on the defensive end almost always leads to a win, and Dallas ended up with 13 of them.
After turning it over 9 times in the first half, the Mavs kept their turnover number down in the third quarter and reclaimed the lead. Dallas gave it away just one time in the third frame, allowing the club to score 1.091 points per possession on offense despite shooting just 47.8 percent from the field, their lowest of the game to that point. When the Mavs don’t turn it over, they’re going to be able to score points.
This was an unbelievable comeback road win for the Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki hit huge shots down the stretch, Deron Williams was in complete command, and Zaza Pachulia crossed the 20-rebound mark. The Mavericks might have struggled during the second half, but they dominated late in the game, and ultimately that’s all that matters in the box score. It was a treat to see this team come together in a hostile environment to steal a win, especially in Wesley Matthews’ first game back in Portland.
Wesley Matthews said he wouldn’t be shooting any imaginary arrows after hitting a three-pointer out of respect for the Portland fans. But that didn’t stop Dirk Nowitzki from launching one of his own after knocking down a three-pointer in the first quarter. Dirk is basically famous at this point for his awesome celebrations, including his throat-slash/rev-it-up combination at last season’s All-Star Game in New York City. It’s still so much fun watching him play. (When Matthews knocked down one first-half trey, Dwight Powell shot an arrow for him. Charlie Villanueva also let one fly after he sank a deep ball.)
Nowitzki put on a clinic in the first half, working mostly in the post. The Blazers were freely switching smaller players onto him and weren’t sending double-teams, which meant Dirk basically had free looks at the basket whenever he wanted. In the first half he shot 4 of 7 from the field for 13 points to lead the Mavs. He’s 37 years old, sure, but if you aren’t going to double him when he has a mismatch, he’s going to make you pay.
After struggling to score consistently against the Kings last night, especially in the second half, the Mavs got off to a red-hot start in the first quarter, opening up a 20-5 lead on Portland within the game’s first seven minutes. Dallas started well against Sacramento, too, so there’s no guarantee that doing so will lead to a win. Still, it’s good to see the team respond so well less than 24 hours after a tough road loss.
The Mavs (11-8) play the Houston Rockets (7-11) Friday at American Airlines Center. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. Central.
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