DALLAS – There were times Saturday night when Al-Farouq Aminu found himself in a tussle trying to guard Portland All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge.
It’s a dirty job, but somebody had to do it. And to his credit, Aminu acquitted himself well defensively, and also found time to score nine points, grab nine rebounds and block two shots while playing a high activity game.
"I know he really likes to go middle, so I just tried to cut off the middle and just make it hard for him off the catch and things like that,’’ Aminu said. "He exerts a lot of energy just to get the ball and (I) just play him tough.’’
After Aldridge tallied 13 of his points in the third quarter to give the Blazers an 83-70 lead, Aminu and company held him to just five minutes the remainder of the game and Dallas went on to overcome a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit and rally for a 111-101 overtime victory at American Airlines Center.
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"Aminu did a great job on him,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. "Nobody is going to play a perfect game against LaMarcus Aldridge, but it’s a different kind of body athlete, length kind of guy for his size to throw at one of the great players in the league.
"It’s a lot of scrambling, it’s a lot of helping each other. You’ve got to have a lot of persistence and you’ve got to have some good fortune, too, and we had both.’’
The Mavs also had a 22-2 run from the 1:55 mark of regulation to the 2:50 mark of overtime to go from being down 94-83 to being ahead 105-96.
"We just kept playing,’’ Aminu said. "We struggled all season playing a full 48-minute game.
"We’ll play a really great first half and then have a letdown, and today we just kept playing throughout the entire game. We didn’t take the foot off the pedal, we kept playing even when things didn’t go our way, and something positive happened.’’