Luca Dončić will be the Rookie of the Year.
Unless some random unforeseen happening somehow changes the course of his season, it seems unlikely anyone will be crowned “ROY” except Dončić, who has already broken numerous first year NBA records.
Apparently the Blazers didn’t receive the memo.
The Portland Trail Blazers started their two game road trip in Dallas, taking on the 26-29 Mavericks.
Portland looked like themselves in the first half, playing some back and forth ball with Dallas but looking focused. Thing really started to pick up for Portland towards the end of the second half, leading them to a 57-47 lead at halftime.
While Dallas started to gain throughout the start of the third, Lillard earned 21 of his 30 points in the final 6 minutes of the quarter.
The Blazers began the fourth with a 92-78 lead having gone nearly two quarters without falling behind once.
That’s when Dončić decided to remind everyone what the teenager from Slovenia could do. With the ball in hand during several plays down the stretch, Dončić earned 13 points in the fourth, playing tandem with newly minted Maverick Tim Hardaway Jr., who finished with 24 of his own.
As soon as Dallas locked in it seemed Portland forgot their entire game plan. Portland got caught in mismatches and failed to make adjustments, going 10 minutes without a bucket.
Dončić sealed the deal with a minute and a half to go. With the score tied 99-99, Dončić split the defense, weaving in between Maurice Harkless and Zach Collins for the lay in, getting fouled on his way up, allowing him to take the lead to 102-99.
McCollum earned two back quickly, bringing the game back within one. Portland would have a chance to comeback, however a missed layup by Lillard in the final seconds would end the game in disappointment.
Portland will look to bounce back as they finish their road trip when they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder at 8pm ET.