As far as matchups between the league's premier ball handlers go, you would be hard pressed to beat a duel between Damian Lillard and Luka Doncic.
In the first of two matchups between the Trail Blazers and Mavericks in three days, it was Lillard who took the honours in the latest Portland fourth quarter comeback.
A Carmelo Anthony triple at the third quarter buzzer brought the Blazers back to 98-93 with 12 minutes to play, before a well rounded fourth quarter effort carried the home team to victory.
McCollum finds his rhythm
In just his thrid game back from an extended injury absence, CJ McCollum has officially found his touch.
Totalling just 21 points on 6-for-27 shooting in his first two games on return, McCollum exploded for 32 points against the Mavericks on 7-for-13 from deep.
3J for McNuggets! https://t.co/FVB3BnjxRy pic.twitter.com/I3Z436OijY- Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) March 20, 2021
Delivering the dagger, McCollum dribbled into a triple from the left wing with Kristaps Porzingis backing up. The huge shot gave the Blazers a 118-112 lead with 1:17 left.
Welcome back CJ!
pic.twitter.com/qkxUwxnrkz- Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) March 20, 2021
Dame and Luka fill the box score
As expected, the two superstars put up big lines on the box score.
Lillard finished with 31 points and six assists, while Doncic tallied 38 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.
Kleber cools off late
Missing 11 games earlier in the season due to the league's health and safety protocol, Maxi Kleber's outside shooting has largely remained rust free.
The 29-year-old German forward was connecting on a scorching 45.1 percent of his 4.0 attempts per game from three coming in.
Kleber finished 4-for-7 from beyond the arc in his total of 16 points. It was the fourth time this season Kleber has hit at least four long range bombs in a single game.
Unfortunately for Dallas, Kleber hit his first four attempts from beyond the arc heading into the fourth, before missing all of his attempts in the final frame. Despite cooling off, the big man remains an integral part of any Mavericks success this season.
Important tiebreaker implications and a milestone
The win ensured Portland takes the season series over Dallas after claiming the first two meeting between the teams.
BIG. SHOT. ROB. @Holla_At_Rob33 | #RipCity pic.twitter.com/Y0uVW1Xw5w- Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) March 20, 2021
The win also doubled as No. 500 for Blazers head coach Terry Stotts. Stotts is in his ninth season with the franchise, and holds a 385-304 record.
The Mavericks and Blazers will battle in Portland once again after one night off.
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