DAMIAN Lillard turned up the heat, dropping his season-high 42 points to carry Portland past Dallas, 105-95, and send the Mavericks to their first 0-5 start in franchise history at the American Airlines Arena on Friday (Saturday, Manila time).
Lillard had an efficient 12-of-18 shooting performance, including five-of-six from beyond the arc, and knocked down 13-of-14 free throws en route to his top scoring outing in the season so far.
But Dallas actually stayed in the game despite Lillard’s hot shooting and the loss of Dirk Nowitzki in the second quarter due to a sore Achilles tendon, trailing just by three after three quarters, 76-79.
After Salah Mejri opened the fourth with a slam to trim the deficit to one, 78-79, Lillard scored nine points in a 12-2 run to give Portland some breathing room with 7:13 to go. The Blazers star would go on to finish with 15 points in the final period to help Portland hold on for the win.
Mason Plumlee added 19 points to give Lillard some scoring support as CJ McCollum was saddled with foul trouble and only had nine markers. Al Farouq Aminu posted a double-double of 12 points and 10 boards for the Blazers, who have a 3-3 record.
JJ Barea led Dallas with 23 points, hitting five triples, while Harrison Barnes finished with a double-double of 17 markers and 10 boards. Nowitzki just had five points in 16 first half minutes.