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Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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Dallas Mavericks Power Past the Portland Trail Blazers


Portland Trail Blazers forward defends against Dallas Mavericks center (6) during the second half.| Image from Amanda Loman

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The Dallas Mavericks were able to pick up a much-needed win on Monday night, defeating the Portland Trail Blazers 132-117 on the road. Dallas was without six players, including Luka Doncic, due to COVID protocols and entered the game having lost four of their last five games.

Kristaps Porzingis had his best game of the season, scoring 34 points while adding nine rebounds and five assists.

Dallas was powered by a dominant performance in the paint led by Porzingis, who made 8-of-10 shot attempts near the rim. Overall, the Mavericks outscored the Trail Blazers 68-30 in the paint.

Dallas also displayed excellent ball movement. Nearly 77% of all their made shots came from an assist. Overall, the team had 38 assists on the night, the most they’ve had in a regular-season game since 2014.

Dallas was in control for the majority of the game. At halftime, the Mavericks led 72-53, and they led by 20 or more points for almost the entirety of the second half. The 72 first-half points are the highest first-half output for Dallas this season.

Without Doncic and several other players, Dallas looked in for an uphill battle to get a victory. Last season, Doncic had some of his best games against Portland, scoring 44 points in a close loss on Valentine’s day.

Doncic scored a combined 118 points in the team’s three games against each other last season.

Portland was also shorthanded, missing seven players and their head coach, Chauncey Billups, to COVID protocols. However, they did have their all-star player, Damian Lillard. While Lillard had a great game with 26 points and five assists, Portland’s defense was simply outmatched. The loss drops the Trail Blazers record to 13-20 this season.

The Mavericks also got season-best performances from Josh Green, who returned from COVID protocols for this game, and Dwight Powell. Green achieved his season-high with ten assists, and Powell scored a season-high 22 points.

Brandon Knight, one of the recently signed replacement players for the Mavericks on the COVID list, had a great game with 18 points.

Reinforcements should be near for the Mavericks. The NBA and its players’ association agreed to change the mandatory quarantine period for COVID-positive but asymptomatic and vaccinated players from ten days to six.

Reggie Bullock, Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber, and Luka Doncic have been in protocols for over six days, so their return should come very soon.

Dallas improved to 16-17 with the win. Their next game will be Wednesday night against the Sacramento Kings.

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