Luka Doncic, Mavs Hit 22 3-Pointers to Beat Blazers Despite Damian Lillard's 47

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IJanuary 24, 2020

PORTLAND, OR - JANUARY 23: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers talks with Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks during the game on January 23, 2020 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sam Forencich/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks have won five of their last six after they defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 133-125 at the Moda Center Thursday night. 

The Mavs lead the season series 2-1. 

While the Mavericks left little room to doubt they'd ultimately come away with the result, leading by as many as 25, reigning Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic and four-time All-Star Damian Lillard provided a close individual matchup:

Lillard drilled a game-high eight three-pointers. The 29-year-old point guard began the Blazers' scoring with a 39-footer before hitting four threes in the third quarter to spearhead a 17-0 run and pull within eight points:

Dallas and Portland combined for 43 three-pointers, including 23 first-half threes, to tie an NBA record:

Dallas was without reserve center Dwight Powell, who suffered a ruptured right Achilles tendon in the team's 110-107 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.

The Blazers were without starting star guard CJ McCollum (left ankle sprain) for a third consecutive game. The 28-year-old suffered the injury during Portland's 120-112 loss in Dallas on Jan. 17.

The Mavericks improved to 28-16, while the Blazers tumbled to 19-27.


Notable Performances

DAL G Luka Doncic: 27 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals

DAL F Kristaps Porzingis: 20 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 blocks

DAL G Jalen Brunson: 17 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist

DAL G Seth Curry: 17 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 steal

DAL F Maxi Kleber: 15 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocks

POR G Damian Lillard: 47 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal

POR F Trevor Ariza: 21 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals

POR G Gary Trent Jr.: 20 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist

POR F Carmelo Anthony: 16 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 block

Luka Doncic Leads Historic Offensive Performance

Doncic notched an individual win prior to the game's tip when the 2020 NBA All-Star Game starters were announced:

While Lillard went off for 47, Doncic quietly tallied yet another solid performance in a season full of them. The 2018 third overall pick's efforts headlined a historic Mavericks offensive outing:

The more encouraging thing for the Mavericks in the bigger picture? Doncic's supporting cast. ESPN shared a video earlier Thursday in which Porzingis said he and Doncic "can be a pretty deadly duo." The 24-year-old big man backed that up with his first 20-point performance of the month:

Doncic and Porzingis are undoubtedly the Mavs' pillars moving forward, but the team's other depth showed reason for optimism too:

Together, the Mavericks own the highest offensive rating since the NBA merger:

All of which is to say, Dallas is fifth in the Western Conference and looks like a lock to make its first playoff appearance since the 2015-16 campaign.

Trevor Ariza's Blazers Debut Provides Silver Lining in Loss

The Blazers acquired Ariza, Wenyen Gabriel and Caleb Swanigan in a trade with the Sacramento Kings that sent away Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver on Tuesday.

Ariza earned his first start in Portland against the Mavericks, and the 34-year-old forward delivered on what he and Lillard told reporters Wednesday they expect moving forward:

Ariza sunk four three-pointers, behind Trent's six and Lillard's eight. His season-high 21 points were second only to Lillard's game-high 47 among Portland scorers:

Lillard is going to get his—that's never an issue for the Blazers—and he got his in a historic manner against Dallas:

The problems are outside of Lillard:

Ariza's complementary performance came at a clutch time for the Blazers with McCollum absent. The 2004 second-round pick immediately syncing is an encouraging development for Portland beyond McCollum, though, because the team has been plagued by injuries since the season's start. 

Depth is not a luxury for the Blazers if they're going to sniff the Western Conference Final for the second straight year; it will be necessary. Ariza proved a welcomed addition.

What's Next? 

Dallas will visit the Utah Jazz on Saturday afternoon, while Portland will host the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night.