3 Things like the Dallas Mavericks destroyed the Portland Trail Blazers 130-110

The Dallas Mavericks beat the Portland Trail Blazers at home Friday night, 130-110. Luka Doncic led the Dallas team with 33 points, six rebounds and nine assists. Ms. Lillard led the defeat of the Blazers.

Dallas started the match looking rather sluggish, failing to get stops while Luca missed his first few tries on the other end. The team looked a little disinterested, but Tim Hardaway Jr. came out of the gates on fire and kept the Mavericks afloat until they could find their offensive spot. Luca scored three steps back with 1.5 seconds left in the period, making the score 32-31, and Portland one after.

The second quarter saw Christian Wood and Doncic take turns attacking Portland’s defense. Wood scored 15 points in the frame, showcasing every aspect of his offensive game and helping the Mavs build a double-digit lead. After going out to catch his breath, Doncic came back and took 11 points of his own. Portland was able to close the gap a bit, thanks in large part to a display of the free throw line by Damian Lillard, but a good close quarter put the Mavericks up 72-63 in the locker room.

The Mavericks came out on fire in the third quarter, playing some of their best basketball in a long time and pushing the lead as many as 28 points. Quite simply, this was the most impressive quarter of the season. They totally dominated the Trail Blazers and everyone who played contributed to that. In these 12 minutes, basketball is as fun as it was in 2022-2023. The Mavericks put up 110 (!!!) points through three frames and led 110-85 heading into fourth place.

Garbage time came early in the fourth, as Portland never fielded their starters again, and the men came at the end of the bench before the half-period ended. JaVale McGee appeared, cigars of victory, and the Mavs cruised to a 20-point victory. The Freshmen got a little rest in the Fourth, which is huge because they play Cleveland again tomorrow night.

It was a fun night of basketball, and here’s what stood out:

Luka Doncic loves to play against Portland

Doncic entered tonight’s game averaging 30.5 points, 8.9 rebounds and 7.9 assists on .498/.413/.762 shooting for his career against the Trail Blazers. He averages more points against Portland than any other non-Clippers team in the league. We know Luca gets up to make the big games, the big matches, and something about taking on Damian Lillard brings out the best in him. Doncic was masterful tonight, delivering an occasional 33/6/9 on great shooting in three quarters and controlling the pace of play all night.

This Mavericks team needs Luca to set the tone to be successful and he did that tonight. Hopefully coming out of the fourth quarter helps him stay fresh and ready to do it again against Cleveland tomorrow.

The Mavericks are a different team when all three are down

It’s been said ad nauseam, but this Mavericks team is an entirely different animal on both sides of the earth when they’re hitting shots. It sounds simple and obvious, but their defensive effort and energy is even more apparent when all three men are knocking. Tonight, they shot 41.9 percent on 43 attempts and were especially hot in the third quarter. Not surprisingly, they brought Portland’s tally to 22 points in the third period and just 47 points in the second half. Everything was clicking, and it would be nice to see that kind of effort more frequently.

Christian Wood had his best game as a Maverick

Maxi Clipper will be out for a long period of time. As a result, the Mavericks have no choice but to recline to a more offensive mindset in the big man position and let Christian Wood cook. Tonight, we saw what that’s like when Wood is at the top of his game. He was very impressive against Portland, putting up a monster double-double with 32 points and 12 rebounds on 11-of-17 shooting.

He took over in the second quarter and gave the Mavericks a huge lead they’ll never look back, and put together a stellar two-man game in the third quarter alongside Luka Doncic. He did bad things to Jusuf Nurkic and the Blazers had no answer for him.

Wood is a polarizing player who certainly doesn’t fit in well with this list, but he’s incredibly talented offensively and fun to watch when he’s firing on all cylinders.

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