Blazers 92, Mavericks 81

I will admit to being surprised. I thought the Mavericks might come in a bit fired up. And there was a fired-up team on the floor. They came out scoring and scoring and scoring...fortunately, it was the Blazers. They tallied 28, probably their biggest first quarter. How did it happen? Well, they went to Aldridge regularly and Roy did some shooting to. With their stars tallying 8 each in the first quarter, the Blazers took a 6 point lead into the second.

One thing I thought the Blazers needed to pull of the upset was a strong game from Outlaw and another was some work on the offensive boards. Outlaw had 7 first half rebounds and both he and Przybilla worked the offensive boards, though the rebounds seldom led to points. Even though they did not often score the second chance points, they made Dallas work on defense and psychologically, getting the stop, then seeing your opponent get a second chance is tough.

Meanwhile, Roy added 6 points in the second and Aldridge added 4. After a fast start, (7 points in the first 7:32), Nowitzki still had just 7 points. Portland took a 7 point lead into the half and for the second night in a row had 49 points at the break.

The third quarter was a good one for the Blazers as Roy scored, distributed the ball, and the Blazers extended to a 13 point lead, though it was again a slow scoring one. Somehow they were keeping the Mavericks offense in check.

The 4th quarter was all about Roy as he tallied 11 of the Blazers 21 points. For the first time in the game Dallas outscored the Blazers in a quarter and for the first time they hit the 25 point mark...but it was just too much Roy as he had a career high 32 points and another 7 assists. For those keeping track, that means (3 pointers and converted 3 point plays not included) he was responsible for 46 of the Blazers 92 points. That is some star power.

Meanwhile, Maverick studs Nowitzki and Terry had 11 and 16 points respectively, and both shot poorly.

I am again disappointed in my lack of faith. Everything was in place to predict the upset and I just could not pull the trigger. But Roy had a huge game, Aldridge had an "average" game (18 pts, 8 reb, 50% shooting), and Outlaw had a better game than he has recently (14 pts on 5-8 shooting, 10 boards, 4 assists). This was what needed to happen for the Blazers to win and they made it happen. 3-3 feels pretty good, especially entering a stretch where they can reasonably be expected to go 6-3 or even 7-2. Next up: the Pistons this coming Tuesday. We will see if they can keep their momentum going.

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