Damian Lillard recorded 36 points and 10 assists while outplaying Dallas star Luka Doncic to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a convincing 136-119 victory over the visiting Mavericks on Saturday night, January 14 (Sunday, January 15, Manila time).
NBA scoring leader Doncic had a season-worst 15 points – 19 below his average – to go with 10 assists and 6 rebounds. He was just 7-of-19 from the field and missed all five three-point attempts.
Lillard was 11-of-20 shooting, including 4-of-11 from behind the arc, as the Trail Blazers ended a string of six straight losses to Dallas. A second round of Lillard versus Luka will occur Sunday night, also in Portland.
Jusuf Nurkic recorded 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Anfernee Simons added 21 points for the Trail Blazers, who snapped a season-worst five-game slide. Jerami Grant added 16 points and Shaedon Sharpe scored 12 as Portland won for just the fourth time in its past 14 games.
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 25 points, and Reggie Bullock added 24 on a career-high eight three-pointers for the Mavericks, who are 1-3 on a five-game road trip.
Portland made 55.7% of its shots, including 17-of-41 from behind the arc, while achieving a season high for points.
Dallas shot 52.4% from the field and was 22-of-46 from behind the arc.
Lillard outscored Doncic 11-4 in the first quarter to set the tone. The Trail Blazers held a 31-30 lead after the period.
It was more of the same in the second quarter as Lillard scored 13 to finish with 24 for the half. Doncic had 1 point for a meager 5 at the break.
The Trail Blazers erupted for 40 points in the stanza and led 71-56.
Bullock got hot with five treys in the third quarter, but Dallas wasn’t able to cut into its deficit.
Lillard connected on a three-pointer to give Portland its first 20-point lead of the game at 76-56 with 11:08 left in the third.
Bullock hit two straight three-pointers to bring Dallas within 85-74 with 6:14 left in the period.
Consecutive treys by Grant and Gary Payton II gave Portland a 106-88 lead in the final minute before Doncic’s basket left the Mavericks down 16 entering the fourth quarter.
Lillard scored 4 straight points and Simons hit a trey during a 7-0 run that made it 125-101 with 6:41 remaining and Portland cruised to the finish. – Rappler.com