DALLAS (AP) – Damian Lillard’s twisting layup with 26 seconds remaining proved to be the winner as the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Dallas Mavericks 121-119 on Sunday night.
Lillard’s basket gave the Blazers a 120-119 lead. Dallas’ Luka Doncic then missed a 3-point attempt and Portland won a challenge of a call that would have sent the Mavericks’ Dorian Finney-Smith to the foul line.
Instead, there was a jump ball. The Blazers’ Kent Bazemore got the ball and was fouled. He made the first of two free throws. Doncic rebounded and passed to Tim Hardaway, whose shot from about midcourt rattled off the front of the rim a time expired.
Lillard, who scored 67 points in Portland’s first two games, finished with two points in the first half on 1-for-7 shooting. He scored 26 in the second half, finishing with 28.
CJ McCollum led the Blazers with 35 points. Rodney Hood had 20 points, Bazemore 11 and Zach Collins 10.
The Mavericks’ Kristaps Porzingis scored 32 points and Doncic finished 29 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists. Maxi Kleber had 14 points, Seth Curry 12 and Hardaway 11.
Portland never held the lead through the first three periods, but rallied to tie the game at 95 on one of two free throws by Lillard eight seconds before the end of the third quarter.
Dallas struggled through a 2-for-19 shooting spell and fell behind by as many as six points before Curry hit a 3-pointer that tied the game at 107.
After Portland tied the score at 25 with 3:19 remaining in the first quarter, Dallas went on an 18-0 run for a 43-25 lead early in the second.
Kleber, who had totaled only eight points in the Mavericks’ first two games, scored eight in the first 2:49 with two 3-pointers and a dunk. Kleber finished the first quarter with 12 points.
McCollum scored 18 points in the second quarter and had 24 in the first half. He made all six free throws and was 6 for 9 from the floor.
Dallas led at halftime 71-59.
Blazers: F Zach Collins left the court holding his right shoulder in the third quarter. … F/C Pau Gasol still hasn’t played in his 18th season because of an injured left foot. Coach Terry Stotts said: “The only thing he’s really doing on the court is spot-shooting, post moves, stuff like that but no contact.”
Mavericks: Dallas had trailed after the first quarter in each of the first two games. … Coach Rick Carlisle celebrated his 60th birthday Sunday. . F/C Dwight Powell (strained left hamstring) missed his third straight game
Blazers: At San Antonio on Monday in the third of a four-game trip.
Mavericks: At Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.