The first quarter was not pretty on Sunday night for the Portland Trail Blazers. Luckily, they were unfazed when trailing Dallas 46-27 early in the second quarter.
Damian Lillard had just two points at halftime. He scored 19 in the third quarter, and eventually finished with 28 points.
Sunday also brought the first offensive explosion for CJ McCollum, who had been held under 20 points in the first two games of the season. The Blazers needed McCollum to step up in the opening 24 minutes with Lillard struggling to score. McCollum scored a game-high 35 points.
After losing the first quarter, 40-25, the Blazers outscored the Mavs in each quarter the rest of the game. The Blazers big third quarter, outscoring Dallas 36-24, tied the game at 95 heading to the fourth.
Just prior to the fourth quarter, however, Zach Collins hurt his left shoulder. With 2:01 to go in the third, Collins went for a defensive rebound and seemed to make contact with Luka Dončić. The Blazers forward immediately grabbed his shoulder and went straight to the locker room.
Collins did not return, and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports Collins will have an MRI on his “dislocated left shoulder” on Monday. Collins will miss Monday’s game with San Antonio.
Back to the game, the fourth quarter saw 12 lead changes. The last lead change, Lillard drove left and flipped a layup in with 26.8 seconds in the game. Then, Lillard’s defense made a huge appearance.
After a timeout, Dončić missed a step-back 26-footer. Dorian Finney-Smith rebounded the miss for Dallas. He turned to go back up, but Lillard swatted the ball away and was called for a foul. Lillard immediately turned to coach Terry Stotts and indicated “Challenge that call, I got all ball.”
Stotts admitted after the game, if Lillard hadn’t been as adament “I wouldn’t have challenged it.”
The referees went to the monitor, and they confirmed Lillard’s “all ball” plea was correct. With the call going from “foul called” to “no foul” the teams went for a jump ball.
Transcript: NBA Referee Courtney Kirkland Comments to Pool Reporter after Trail Blazers – Mavericks Game. pic.twitter.com/UbnSdYSk4K
— NBA Official (@NBAOfficial) October 28, 2019
Mavs forward Kristaps Porziņģis won the tip, but Kent Bazemore tracked it down. Dallas fouled Bazemore, and he made the first but missed the second of his two free throws. On the miss, Mario Hezonja tipped the ball, which starts the clock, and took 1-2 seconds off the slim game clock before Dončić got the rebound.
Dončić threw it ahead to Tim Hardaway Jr., who launched and missed a 31-foot three as the final horn sounded.
The Blazers move to 2-1 with the win. Next up, Portland is in San Antonio to face the Spurs on Monday.