The Portland Trail Blazers couldn’t find a way to pull off yet another victory on their six-game trip while missing key players but they did come close.
The Blazers, playing without center Jusuf Nurkic and forward Justise Winslow, lost 117-112 at Dallas Saturday night while clearly missing the defensive presence of those two players.
Winslow could have helped defend Dallas guard Luka Doncic, who had 42 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Nurkic could have helped protect the paint where the Mavericks produced 48 points thanks in large part to Doncic’s passing.
Jerami Grant led the Blazers with 37 points while Damian Lillard scored 29 with 12 assists.
The Blazers overcome a poor first quarter that saw them fall behind 35-25 to eventually lead 88-85 to start the fourth. There, the Blazers were held to 24 points while the Mavericks put up 32 on 61.1% shooting.
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 20 points for Dallas on 7-of-11 shooting and made 6 of 8 threes. The Mavericks bench outscored Portland’s 45-14.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Blazers (9-4) going 4-2 on this 6-game trip was a success no matter how one spins things and losing at Dallas (7-5), especially without Nurkic and Winslow, was understandable.
The Blazers return home for three games starting at 7 pm., Tuesday against San Antonio.
— Aaron Fentress | afentress@Oregonian.com | @AaronJFentress (Twitter), @AaronJFentress (Instagram), @AaronFentress (Facebook). Subscribe to Oregonian/OregonLive newsletters and podcasts