McCollum, Lillard spark win
CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard combined for 63 points as the Trail Blazers rallied from a 19-point first-half deficit to beat Dallas 121-119 Sunday night at American Airlines Arena.
McCollum scored 24 of his 35 points in the first half and Lillard tallied 26 of his 28 points in the second half for Portland (2-1), which used a coach's challenge in the final seconds to help pull out the victory.
Rodney Hood scored 14 of his 20 points in the first quarter and Hassan Whiteside totaled six points and 14 rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter for the Blazers.
Kristas Porzingis collected 32 points, nine rebounds and five assists, and Luka Doncic added 29 points, 12 boards and nine assists for Dallas (2-1). The pair combined to hit only 5 of 21 shots from 3-point range, however.
Lillard scored 19 third-quarter points — at one point sinking six straight baskets — as Portland ralllied from a 12-point halftime deficit to tie the game at 95-95 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Blazers led 107-101 four minutes into the final period, but the Mavericks scored eight in a row to go ahead 109-107. Whiteside's follow dunk gave Portland a 116-115 lead with 2:56 remaining. Porzingis hit two free throws to push Dallas back in front 117-116, but McCollum's step-back jumper made it 118-117 Portland with 1:40 left.
Porzingis converted a pair at the line to give Dallas a 119-118 edge with 1:16 to go. Lillard regained the lead for the Blazers at 120-119 on a driving layup with 26.8 seconds to play.
Lillard was called for a foul on Dorian Finney-Smith with 8.4 seconds left, but the Blazers challenged the call and it was reversed. Portland controlled the tip on the ensuing jump ball, and Kent Bazemore was fouled with 5.5 ticks on the clock. He made one of two foul shots. Dallas rebounded, but a long 3-point attempt by Tim Hardaway Jr. was short at the buzzer.
McCollum had 24 points and Hood 16 points in the first half, but Lillard had only two points on 1-for-7 shooting and Portland trailed by 12 points. Porzingas, meanwhile, had 18 points and Doncic and Max Kleber 14 apiece for Dallas at the break.
Hood scored 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting — including 3 for 3 from 3-point range — in the first nine minutes. The score was tied at 25-25 at that point. Dallas then went on a 15-0 tear to go ahead 40-25 after one quarter.
The Mavericks' lead grew to 19 points early in the second quarter. The Blazers used a 12-0 run to draw within 52-47, but Dallas came back with a 8-0 spurt for a 60-47 advantage. The Mavericks settled for a 71-59 edge at the half.
Zach Collins of the Blazers left the game with an apparent left shoulder injury late in the third quarter and did not return.
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