Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers did a tremendous job of restricting Luka Doncic’s scoring barrage on Saturday night. With the performance resulting in a 136-119 win, the Trail Blazers superstar praised his teammates for their efforts.
The Portland Trail Blazers haven’t been a consistent team this season. Considering their five-game streak of losses, the Trail Blazers weren’t in a great position for the season either.
Heading into Saturday night’s game, Portland had a lot of factors going against them. However, the team managed to come away with a surprising win against the Dallas Mavericks.
Led by Damian Lillard, the Trail Blazers rallied together in this game at home. While their offense was certainly humming, it was the Trail Blazers’ defense that sealed the game for them.
Portland did a tremendous job of clamping down on the defensive end. They were particularly successful in locking up Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic.
Considering Doncic’s impact, the Trail Blazers took a very direct approach to strangle Dallas’ offense. By emphasizing upon shutting the Slovenian down, Portland managed to stun Dallas.
Lillard also asked about the strategies implemented to contain Luka Doncic. By successfully restricting the Slovenian wunderkind, the Trail Blazers deserved some praise for their work. In response to the question, Lillard said:
“That’s not a one-man job. Luka is a great player. He does the same thing to everybody. He’s going to come out, you know, he had a 60-point triple-double this year, he scores 40 seems like every night, so it’s important that we make it a team effort.”
“We gave him a lot of attention. We sent two guys on him all night. That can be exhausting. To have two guys in your face and you gotta be willing to trust your teammates and I think, we would lose to other guys hitting shots than lose to him. They couldn’t sustain it tonight but tomorrow is a different story.”
To conclude his response, Lillard said:
“We’ve just got to look at what we did well tonight and repeat it tomorrow and just know that they’re going to come harder.”
Portland managed to hold Doncic to a season-low of 15 points. With Portland’s defensive pressure having an adverse impact on the rest of the game, the Trail Blazers walked away with a solid win.
As Damian Lillard also shone on the night, Portland truly displayed a solid effort on all fronts.
Damian Lillard masterclass against the Mavericks
Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard put on a show against the Dallas Mavericks. While showcasing incredible skill over the course of the game, Lillard also displayed his offensive dominance.
Leading all scorers with 36 points on the night, Lillard tore through the Mavericks’ defense on Saturday night. Pairing his 36 points with 10 assists, Lillard did it all to secure the victory for the Trail Blazers.
Considering the state the team has been in, it is positive to see such a performance from them. With several talented pieces on their roster, one would expect better from Portland.
Whether this win is a trend in the right direction is yet to be seen. However, the performance certainly sets the template for what they need to do to win.
Read: Damian Lillard makes case for being greatest ever Trail Blazer by becoming the all-time leading scorer