Portland Trail Blazers vs. Dallas Mavericks: Breakdown and Analysis in Road Loss

Alex Tam@alexctamCorrespondent IIINovember 6, 2012

Damian Lillard was held in check, making just two field goals in Monday's loss.
Damian Lillard was held in check, making just two field goals in Monday's loss.Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

The Portland Trail Blazers dropped their second road game of the season in a 114-91 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night.

The Blazers fell to 2-2 on the year, while the Mavericks improved to 3-1.

Portland trailed by just four points at the end of the third quarter, but failed to stay in it as the bench allowed Dallas to build a double-digit lead early in the fourth. It was the first off game for rookie sensation Damian Lillard, who failed to become the first Blazers player to score at least 20 points in his first four games.

Here are the awards, grades and analysis of the Blazers' loss.


Player of the Game

LaMarcus Aldridge: 20 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 9-19 FG

Playing in his hometown of Dallas, LaMarcus Aldridge was on fire early on.

The power forward showed why he is considered one of the best power forwards in the game today, displaying a variety of moves in the post and hitting jumpers from the perimeter.

However, he was left on the bench a little too long to begin the fourth quarter as the Mavericks pulled away to win decisively.



Key Moment of the Game

With the Blazers trailing 87-83 early in the fourth, head coach Terry Stotts left reserve big men Meyers Leonard and Joel Freeland on the floor a little too long.

With Aldridge and JJ Hickson waiting to come into the game, Dallas took advantage and extended its lead to 93-83 just minutes later.

The Mavericks never looked back as Portland did not get any closer than eight the rest of the way.

The Blazers, who had taken care of the ball all year long and had just two turnovers at halftime, finished with 13 for the game.


Lillard Watch

After three stellar games to begin the 2012-13 season, Lillard struggled big time with his shot and did not have any late-game heroics.

The rookie finished with 13 points, five assists and three rebounds. He was just 2-for-13 from the field, including a poor 1-for-8 from the three-point line.

These games will happen for Lillard, who will have his ups and downs in his first year.


Tweets of the Night

Dallas shooting 59.7 percent. Stotts in timeout huddles with coaches, looks at scoreboard, sighs, and says "S***."

— Jason Quick, The Oregonian (@jwquick) November 5, 2012


Damian Lillard has his first "Welcome to the NBA" game. Rookie just 2 for 13 from the floor. #Blazers getting blown out now

— Candace Buckner, The Columbian (@blazerbanter) November 5, 2012


What they said

"One game after facing the NBA's hottest offensive player, the Blazers ran into yet another scorching shooting guard in O.J. Mayo. And while Wesley Matthews was able to slow Harden in the Blazers' win over Houston, nobody could slow Mayo Monday night." (via Joe Freeman of The Oregonian)

"It was a tough night. I got some good looks, didn't make shots," Lillard said. "That's pretty much it. I tried to stick with it. I got some early fouls and that took the rhythm out of it for me." (via Associated Press on ESPN.com)


Final Grade: C-

The Blazers were bitten by a poor coaching decision early in the fourth quarter. The bench was again ineffective in the second half, scoring just 17 points total for the game—much of it coming in the first half.

Portland could desperately use a scorer off the bench. If one starter has an off night—like Lillard did—the Blazers will struggle to score enough to win games.

These types of contests may become a little too common this season with Portland not having enough firepower, but the effort always seems to be there. OJ Mayo was also too much for the Blazers, scoring a game-high 32 points.

A 2-2 record after playing the Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets and Dallas, however, is not bad at this stage of the season.


What are your thoughts on tonight's game?


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