DALLAS – Athletes always seem to shine on their birthdays, and O.J. Mayo was no exception on Monday night as he used a 32-point performance to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 114-91 win over the Portland Trail Blazers in Dallas, his second straight 30-point game.
Chris Kaman came off the bench for Dallas for 16 points and six rebounds, and Darren Collison added a double-double with 14 points and 13 assists. Meanwhile for the Blazers, the starters carried the load once again. Four of the five starters scored double figures, led by Wesley Matthews and LaMarcus Aldridge with 20 points each. Rookie Damian Lillard added 13 points.
The Blazers got off to a slow start, trailing by nine with less than two minutes to go in the first. Portland was able to chip at the Mavericks’ lead and trailed by four going into the second. With 3:39 left in the half, a 13-foot jumper from Ronnie Price gave the Blazers their first lead of the game, but Dallas would go into the locker room with a two point lead.
In the third, back-to-back three-pointers from Mayo propelled the Mavericks to a 65-57 lead to begin the half. After a timeout, the Blazers were once again able to chip at the lead and whittle it down to just one point, and trailed by four going into the final quarter. The Blazers did their part for three quarters of the game as they trailed by only two with 10:17 remaining in the game. Kaman hit a mid-range jumper that sparked a 28-9 run from the Mavericks to put the game away.
Portland was outmatched in many statistical categories leading to the loss. While the Blazers shot just 38.7% from the field, the Mavericks shot 61.5%, including 50% from beyond the arc compared to 22.7% for Portland. Dallas also controlled the tempo of the game, outscoring the Blazers 24-2 on the fast break. The Mavericks have shot at least 60% from the field in consecutive games for the first time in team history thanks to what Mayo calls “organized street ball.”
Despite shooting 8-8 from the free-throw line, Lillard struggled shooting during the night going 2-13 from the field, including 1-8 from three-point range.
“It was a tough night. I got some good looks, didn’t make shots,” Lillard said.
Looking ahead, the Blazers return home for six of their next eight games, a chance to rack up some early November wins that could help them in the long run. Thursday night the Blazers welcome Blake Griffin and the Clippers to the Rose Garden. Los Angeles is coming off close losses to the Warriors and Cavaliers, and look to get back in the win column.
11/8 – vs. LA Clippers
11/10 – vs. San Antonio Spurs
11/12 – vs. Atlanta Hawks
11/13 – @ Sacramento Kings
11/16 – vs. Houston Rockets