On a night the Blazers fell behind 15-3 at the start of the game, it was the finish that will have Portland fans buzzing until the Lakers come to town Wednesday night.
Will Barton came off the Portland bench to post career-highs in points (22), rebounds (13), assists (6), steals (3) and minutes played (32 minutes), and the rookie out of Memphis fueled a 4th quarter comeback that nearly lifted the Blazers to victory after Dallas led by 22 points early in the 4th quarter.
With Barton scoring 12 points in the final period, the Blazers made a late run and had the ball, down three points, with 12 seconds left. After a Portland timeout, the Blazers were looking for a tying three-pointer. However, the Mavericks protected the 3-point line, and Damian Lillard drove down the lane trying for a quick basket. There might have been contact as Lillard shot, but there was no whistle, and the NBA's 5-time Western Conference Rookie of the Month missed the layup. Dallas grabbed the miss, and the Mavs' Shawn Marion scored on a fast break as the buzzer sounded giving Dallas a 96-91 victory.
The Blazers, who suffered their season-long 8th consecutive loss, also lost starting guard Wesley Matthews with an ankle injury in the second quarter. Preliminary X-rays were negative, but Matthews left the Blazers locker room on crutches and wearing a walking boot. His availability for the game against the Lakers Wednesday night at the Rose Garden is uncertain.