How the Mavs lost: Damian Lillard poured in a game-high 27 points and the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 109-103 Wednesday night at the Moda Center.
The loss knocks the Mavericks into a tie with Utah for the seventh seed in the Western Conference. Both Dallas and Utah are a game and a half behind the Trail Blazers, who hold the sixth spot, and a half game ahead of Houston, which is ninth.
Portland led 57-53 at the half and stretched it to as much as 12 points at 76-64 with 3:29 remaining in the third quarter when Lillard hit a free throw following a technical foul on Mavs coach Rick Carlisle. The Mavs’ deficit reached 16 (96-80) midway through the fourth quarter after Lillard tossed in a high-arching 3-pointer over Dirk Nowitzki as the shot clock was about to expire.
Nowitzki (40) and Deron Williams (31) combined for 71 points when the Mavs beat Portland 132-120 in overtime Sunday in Dallas. But Wednesday, Nowitzki collected 21 points and Williams was only 4-of-15 from the field for 12 points.
Key players: Besides the performance from Lillard, Ed Davis had 16 first-half points and nine rebounds off the bench for Portland, and Maurice Harkless scored 14 points. In addition, C. J. McCollum tallied 13 points, and the Blazers got 10 points apiece from Al-Farouq Aminu, Mason Plumlee and Gerald Henderson.
Key stat: The Blazers turned 17 Dallas turnovers into 22 points.
Records: Mavs 35-36, Blazers 37-35