Mavericks ball movement, hot shots too much for Blazers in blowout win

One game after putting together his best offensive first half of the season, the Portland Trail Blazers he quickly followed it up with his worst defensive result of the 2022-23 campaign in a humiliating 130-110 loss to the dallas mavericks.

The first quarter showcased a game with real penalty kick potential, though after Luka Doncic and his teammates hit 3-pointer after 3-pointer, it became clear the Blazers wouldn’t have the firepower to remain competitive tonight. Damian Lillard led all Blazers scorers with 24, and Trendon Watford led the second unit with a performance of 16 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.

The loss leaves the Blazers 0-2 in the season series against Dallas and 16-13 on the season. Below are some quarter-by-quarter thoughts on tonight’s loss.

First quarter:

When these two Western Conference powerhouses met last month, it turned out to be a high-octane game filled with hard hitting and offensive dominance. Mere possessions in tonight’s encounter, it became clear that the scoreboard operator would have a busy night tonight as well.

As usual in the first quarters, the game was played at a royal rumble-Type of speed with action everywhere. Each of the team’s top superstars had a bit of a hard time breaking the game’s seal to begin with; Dallas went with the oft-tried strategy of increasing the size of Damian Lillard, commonly in the form of Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock, and it worked well. for about five or six possessions. Once the Blazers started working on their throwing variations, re-evaluationand off-the-ball games, Lillard was quickly able to make his mark on the game.

Meanwhile, the Blazers, owners of the highest-scoring trio in the NBA, proved they could only survive thanks to the aggressiveness of Jerami Grant. In his last five games, only the The New York Knicks they have a better point differential in the first quarter, and thanks to Grant, as well as a 4-of-4 shooting performance from Nurkic, they gave themselves a chance to capitalize on that.

Unfortunately, the Mavericks were able to throw it right back, selecting matchups they liked from the pick-and-roll, en route to an equally productive quarter. The bottom line: a 32-31 lead for Portland after one.

Second bedroom:

In a single commercial break, it seemed that the Blazers’ positive fortune had quickly dried up. With their six-time All-Star in the dugout, Portland’s offense was tougher than a frat Friday night, and the defensive effort wasn’t much better. By virtue of settling for hard, contested shots and then failing to generate saves on the other end, Portland was only able to manage a single field goal through the first 3 1/2 minutes.

There were potential signs, even if you tried to ignore them, that this could have been Mavericks night. There was one possession in which Nurkic committed an offensive foul before Lillard could even cross half court; he was Following possession in which Christian Wood got the friendliest friendly rebound in one play and one that opened up the Mavericks’ lead; there was the fact that Portland couldn’t earn the minutes even when Doncic sat down. Choose your option.

Portland seemed especially uncomfortable dealing with Wood’s ability to stretch the court, whether on his feet or pick-and-pop, and as a result, he and Doncic were looking for 20-plus late in the first half.

The bright spots were hard to find, but among the ones that stood out: Trendon Watford’s minutes were energetic, particularly in the way he mixed aggression with his shooting touch. And, it looked like Lillard’s offensive heroism would give the Blazers a chance to stay close. Fortunately, they trailed only 72-63 after two.

Third quarter:

Remember that nine-point deficit that came out of halftime? Those turned out to be good times; Smelling blood in the water, the Mavericks matched superior aggression and red-hot shooting en route to a 9-for-10 start to the quarter. Before you knew it, the Mavericks had opened up a 25-point lead, and the reserves of the Blazers were on the court with six minutes left in the third quarter.

Even when Dallas was relatively likely to pull off a comfortable victory, they kept the two-man game going with Doncic and Wood, full of standout-level alley-oops on their way to quickly reaching the century mark. When they weren’t working on their pick-and-roll, their perimeter shooters were hitting at levels of fish grease; it was one of those games where you had to start searching for players on Google.

Except for the occasional solid game from, say, Keon Johnson, there wasn’t much to write home about. The Blazers’ deficit had ballooned to 35 as they trailed 110-85 after three.

Fourth trimester:

The only consolation that comes with crushing losses is that they give you the opportunity to see lesser-used talents in extended minutes. Shaedon Sharpe did not Quite the expected impact, often relegated to harder shots and not much tangible impact elsewhere on the scoreboard, though two of his teammates at Trendon Watford and Keon Johnson were able to add some respectability throughout that second drive.

If it weren’t for the score box at the bottom of the screen, Greg Brown III’s outstanding dunk on his return home to Dallas he could be among the best poster jams of the year. To his credit, the Blazers’ deeper reserves brought the Mavericks’ reserves to a virtual standstill down the stretch. However, the final result had been decided a long time ago; the Blazers would have to wait until tomorrow to attempt their return to the win column.

Until next time:

score box

The Blazers move on to the next Texas challenge as they prepare for a Saturday night battle against the houston rockets at 5:00 p.m. Pacific time.

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