Final: Trail Blazers 114, Mavs 113
Box Score | Highlights
Behind the Box Score
Mavs vs. Trail Blazers
View photos of the Mavs’ game against the Trail Blazers.
With a fadeaway from the elbow in the third quarter, Dirk Nowitzki moved past Celtics legend John Havlicek for 10th place on the NBA’s all-time made field goals list, with 10,514 buckets. Pretty incredible accomplishment.
Dallas only shot 35.0 percent from the field in the first quarter, but still scored 27 points at 1.174 points per possession thanks almost entirely to 11 free throw attempts, of which the club hit 10. The Mavericks rank 30th in the NBA in free throw attempts per game at just 18.0, so getting 11 in a single quarter is pretty remarkable. Nowitzki and Harrison Barnes shot eight combined, as both were able to create or draw contact at the rim and earn trips to the charity stripe. It was good to see the offense be aggressive going to the basket when the shots from the field weren’t falling.
With the loss, the Mavs end the season series tied with the Blazers, 2-2.
Dirk Nowitzki: Still good.
These two teams always play close games. I don’t know why. I wish I did. These teams are stuck together like glue every time they come together. Remember the last two games in Portland, when Dallas busted open 20-point leads in both, yet each game came down to the final seconds? Virtually that same thing happened tonight. Portland was up 16 at one point, and up 12 in the fourth quarter, yet the game once again came down to the final possessions, as the clubs traded haymakers down the stretch like they have for years now. Damian Lillard hit impossible fadeaways, Dirk Nowitzki hit a late go-ahead 3 in transition, and it felt like the playoffs. In other words, business as usual. These two teams sadly won’t play each other again this season, but if history is the best predictor of the future, it’s safe to say they’ll play three or four more classics again in 2017-18.
Harrison Barnes has shown a lot of new stuff this season, but he debuted even more new tools in the box tonight, unveiling a bank shot from the post, one on a fadeaway and one following up a sweet spin-dribble move against Noah Vonleh. Barnes enjoyed success against the bigger Blazers defenders tonight, after struggling to create looks consistently last night in Denver against the long, athletic Wilson Chandler. Barnes finished with 26 points after a great fourth quarter, another solid outing in what’s been a solid season for him.
Wesley Matthews simply plays possessed against Portland, his former team. After scoring a season-best 27 points in Friday’s win at the Moda Center, Matthews followed it up with 23 points tonight, mixing in more work from the post against the Blazers’ small backcourt. He’s looked more aggressive off the dribble in general lately, against both small and big players, which adds a dynamic element to his game that he didn’t always put on display last season, his first after recovering from a ruptured Achilles. If Matthews can consistently provide that off-the-bounce game with his already rock-steady 3-point shooting, he’s going to continue to put up gaudy scoring lines like this one. The way the ball moves within this offense, looks are there to be had for wing players to attack off the dribble against out-of-sorts defenses.
Seth Curry has been on a terrific run lately, scoring in double-figures in 11 straight games. But in the third quarter, Curry appeared to tweak his left shoulder after colliding with Mason Plumlee. He immediately crouched to the floor in pain and the Mavericks committed an intentional foul so he could exit the game; he eventually went back to the locker room, but only briefly. Curry would return to the game in the same quarter, after having not attempted a single shot in the first half. Offensive adjustments continue for the Mavs in the Yogi Ferrell era, as Dallas now runs more 1/5 pick-and-rolls with Ferrell and Dirk Nowitzki, which potentially changes some of the looks and opportunities the other players receive.
The Mavs (20-32) play the Utah Jazz (33-19) on Thursday at American Airlines Center at 7:30 p.m. Central.