In battle of attrition, Mavericks dominate Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers were without their head coach and seven players Monday because of positive COVID-19 tests, as well as CJ McCollum still recovering from a collapsed lung. But, Damian Lillard played.
Dallas was without players, too, because of COVID-19, including superstar Luka Doncic.
The Mavericks didn't let their plight bother them, as they cruised to a 132-115 over the Trail Blazers at Moda Center.
Dallas center Kristaps Porzingis had 34 points, as two of the players Portland played without were centers Jusuf Nurkic and Cody Zeller. He also had nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. Forward Larry Nance Jr. was the only Portland big man to contend with the 7-3 Porzingis.
"It's easy to put your head down, 'We didn't have this guy, we didn't have this guy to match up with their size advantage,'" said Scott Brooks, the interim head coach in Billups' absence. "We didn't. We fought as hard as we can."
Dwight Powell added 22 points (on 9-of-11 shooting) and Brandon Knight 18 points for Dallas (16-17).
The Mavericks had 38 assists on their 48 baskets and 68 points in the paint, and shot .571 from the floor. They led by as many as 29 points.
Lillard, who was questionable before the game (personal reasons), led Portland (13-20) with 26 points. He was 5 of 15 from the field (3 of 8 3-pointers) and made 13 of 14 free throws.
Nassir Little had 20 points and 10 rebounds.
The Blazers shot just .427 (.300 on 3-pointers, 12 of 40).
Billups was put on the health and safety protocols list earlier Monday.
Robert Covington joined Nurkic and Zeller as rotation players on the list, and McCollum missed another game, although his collapsed lung has reportedly healed. Doncic was placed on the health and safety protocols list last week.
The three G League players signed to 10-day contracts all played: Jarron Cumberland, Cameron McGriff and Brandon Williams. They all scored points.
Portland's tough stretch continues with Utah, 7 p.m. Wednesday at Moda Center, followed by a game at Los Angeles Lakers, 7:30 p.m. Friday.
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