Saturday night featured a huge matchup for the Western Conference leading Portland Trail Blazers. After defeating the Pacers, Thunder and Jazz earlier in the week, they looked to finish off their four-game home stand with a win against the visiting Mavericks. But Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis had a different plan in mind.
With under six-seconds left against the visiting Mavs, the Blazers were in trouble. Down three, the Mavs were scrambling to defend the three-point arc, and Damian Lillard had a lot of trouble getting an open look after LaMarcus Aldridge passed it to him beyond the arc. But after pump-faking to throw Shawn Marion off, and double-clutching in mid-air to avoid the long arms of Matrix, Lillard wasn’t scared of the moment and tied the game with a clutch three-pointer.
Lillard had a game-high 32 points on 9-for-18 shooting (5/9 3pt) and five dimes, but there were still 1.8 seconds on the clock, which was plenty for the Mavericks. Monta Ellis â€” the offseason acquisition that’s been going swimmingly for the Mavs â€” came off a deliberately clustered wing â€” with Dirk and Vince Carter acting as the screeners/decoys â€” to nail a game-winning jumper at the top of the key against a trailing Wesley Matthews.
Just an awesome finish to an incredible game between two playoff-contending teams in the Western Conference. Dirk finished with a team-high 28 points and Monta had 22, including the game winner. Aldridge added 19 and 13 for the Blazers and Robin Lopez had a double-double as well with 14 and 14 in the loss.
With the win, the Mavs move to 13-8 on the year, and the Blazers fall to 17-4.
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