The Mavericks took their visit to the Moda Center in Portland 112-132. The Texan team, which despite the recent beating in San Francisco is surely in its best moment of the season, had no mercy on the Blazers whom they dominated from start to finish and who were only able to stand up at times. In this way, Kidd’s men were able to live a relatively peaceful night and manage to place themselves just two games away from fourth place in the West, currently occupied by the Jazz.
Luka Doncic did not have his best night at the scoring level, but even so, he managed to add a new triple-double that brings him closer to the noble zone of the league’s historical ranking. Despite his 4/11 shooting, the Slovenian managed to finish with 15 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds, thus accumulating 42 triple-doubles in his career and placing himself one away from gaining a place in the historical top 10, since the tenth place is occupied by Fat LeVert with 43.
“It all starts with Luka” assured Kirstaps Porzingis, valuing his partner’s work. “Everything becomes so much easier when he’s on the pitch.”
On the scoring side, it was Porzingis himself and Jalen Brunson who led Dallas with 22 and 20 points respectively, to which the latter added 11 assists, although in general the Mavs had a night in which many of their men managed contribute points. In addition to Doncic, Reggie Bullock and Dwight Powell also managed to finish with 15, while Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith reached 12 and 11 to help their team record their best score of 2022.
The last time Kidd’s men reached 132 points was on December 27, the night they also visited the Blazers at the Moda Center. Those from Oregon made their defensive shortcomings evident again, suffering a defeat that placed them with a balance of 20-28, a record that allows them to occupy positions of play-in simply because the competition is nil.
This time, Anfernee Simmons led the Billups side with 22 points, closely followed by CJ McCollum’s 20, Norman Powell’s 19 and Jusuf Nurkic’s 18. However, aside from them, the team’s performance was very limited: the substitutes lost the duel on the benches 30-52, the defense once again made waters and the sensations continue to be negative. We’ll see if when Damian Lillard returns (if such a thing happens) the team manages to reverse its dynamic, but the truth is that right now the Blazers seem to be drifting.
(Cover photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images)