The Portland Trail Blazers hit the road for a five-game road trip. They made their first stop tonight in Dallas to face the Mavericks. The Mavs were off the races to start this game jumping out to a 30-point lead at one point but was 23 by the end of the first quarter. The Blazers shook off their slow start and won the second quarter by four points; but still trailed 57-38 at halftime. LaMarcus Aldridge went off in the third quarter as the Blazers erased the deficit and led the game at times in the third. The Mavs would have a one-point lead entering the fourth quarter. After the lead went back-and-forth, the Mavs were able to pull away from the Blazers in the final minute of the quarter, winning the game: 103-98. LaMarcus Aldridge scored a game-high 30 points en route to a double-double with 17 rebounds. Wesley Matthews was second in scoring with 26 points for Portland. Dirk Nowitzki led the way with 22 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds.
CJ McCollum was once again the second guard off the bench for the Blazers but because of Matthews’ hot hand, McCollum was limited to only eight minutes and thirty-four seconds. In that 8:34, CJ scored one point (0-0 FG, 1-2 FT), one assist, one turnover, three fouls, and he was -1. Considering that he was -10 in about three and half minutes at halftime, CJ was able to once again rebound in the second half. Granted this time, it was mostly due to Aldridge going on a scoring tear in the third quarter, but CJ was able to defend Monta Ellis well in that span.
The Blazers will stay in the Lone Star State for their next game on Sunday night in Houston. This is the fourth and final regular season meeting between these two teams; the Rockets have won two of the three games. In the one game CJ has been active for (back on January 20th), he scored 7 points in almost 15 minutes of play. In that game, the man CJ was (and will be) guarding, James Harden, scored 22 points. This game will tip off at 7pm Eastern Daylight Time.