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Trail Blazers Go Cold, Fall In Big D

02/06/13
  1. Written by: erikgundersen  / avg. rating: 5.0

    BY ERIK GUNDERSEN

    27 points and 10 rebounds from Dallas native LaMarcus Aldridge wasn't enough for the Trail Blazers (25-24) tonight as they fell to the Mavericks (21-28) 105-99. The Trail Blazers are now 1-1 on their six-game road trip.

    "It was a good game," said Terry Stotts, of a game that was close throughout. "It could of gone either way.

    The Trail Blazers and the Mavericks both came out scorching, with the Trail Blazers being just a few degrees warmer. Wesley Matthews and Damian Lillard were extremely hot, combining for 21 of Portland's 33 first quarter points. However, Portland couldn't do much to stop the Mavericks and specifically OJ Mayo (28 points), who went nine of 10 from the field in the first half, scoring 20 points.

    Both teams second units continued the offensive success and the back and forth flow of the night would also continue. Portland had a lead that was as big as 12 but it didn't stay that way for long with the way the Mavericks were hitting shots. Portland maintained a four-point lead in the high scoring affair at 61-57. Much of the reason the Trail Blazers were able to hold the lead was that they went nine of 16 (56.3 percent) on three pointers.

    The second half wasn't so kind to the Trail Blazers from beyond the arc, as they went one for 14 from deep. With their outside shot not going down, they played through Aldridge.

    Aldridge had it going again from all over the floor. From the outside he was pure and from the post he was deft, and powerful. He went eight for 15 in the second half, scoring 18 of his 27 points on the night. He's averaging 26 points per game so far on the road trip.

    Unfortunately for the Trail Blazers and their chances of winning this game, the rest of the Trail Blazers just couldn't get their shots to go. Stotts also credited Dallas with their adjustments in the pick and roll against Lillard, who is the engine that pushes Portland when they are at their best, and only scored two points on free-throws in the second half.

    "Well, again, they picked him up in the back court. They were very physical with him, and they made him a priority. They were aggressive on his pick-and-rolls and they weren't giving him the looks he had."

    Down the stretch they roared again after falling behind by nine twice in the fourth. Mayo kept finding his way into space and Shawn Marion hit a few shots that any NBA defense would be okay with giving up. Back-to-back buckets by Aldridge and two free-throws from Damian Lillard got the game to within three points. Portland got the stop they needed on the ensuing possession. With a chance to tie the game, Portland got a look that the coaches, players and fans wanted, with Wesley Matthews getting an open elbow three with 50.9 seconds left. It rimmed in and then it rimmed out and Portland had to play the free-throw game. Dallas did not collapse. It was surely a game that they would have loved to have, but even in the situation you want, you can't control how the ball will bounce.

    "I don't know if it was ever necessarily out of our control," said Stotts. "They made a little push in the middle of the fourth quarter and it got it up to seven or nine. We came down, we had a shot to tie it. So I don't know if it necessarily that we lost control of the game. I don't know if we were ever in control of the game."

    Portland's next game will be on Friday in Houston against the currently 8th-place Rockets. That game will start at 5 PM and will be shown on CSNNW and can be heard on 1190 AM and 102.3 FM.

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