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Mavs top Blazers on Ellis' buzzer-beater
Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Monta Ellis made a game-winning jumper as time expired, lifting the Dallas Mavericks to a 108-106 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.
The Blazers trailed 106-103 with 6.8 seconds left when LeMarcus Aldridge received an inbounds pass out of a timeout and passed it to Damian Lillard on the near wing. Lillard pump-faked to get Shawn Marion in the air and connected on his 3-point attempt to tie the game with 1.9 seconds left.
On the ensuing possession, Ellis collected the inbound pass from Jose Calderon, dribbled to his right and drilled a pullup jumper from the top of the key before the horn sounded.
"I was born for it. I love that time of the game," Ellis said.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points with seven assists and six rebounds and Calderon and DeJuan Blair netted 15 points apiece for Dallas, which won its third straight contest and snapped Portland's eight-game home winning streak.
Lillard matched a season-high with 32 points and Aldridge posted 19 points with 13 rebounds in Portland's second home loss of the season.
"I hate to lose a game like that. I'd rather be blown out than to lose at the buzzer," Lillard said.
Nicolas Batum scored 22 points for Portland, including 12 in the third quarter, and Robin Lopez had a double-double with 14 points and 14 boards.
Following an Aldridge jumper, Nowitzki and Gal Mekel hit back-to-back triples and Bernard James made a layup to give the Mavs an 87-78 lead with just over eight minutes left in the fourth.
Dallas led by six late in the fourth when Lillard took the comeback into his own hands and buried two triples in consecutive possessions to tie the game 94-94 with just under four minutes left.
With the game tied at 98, Calderon recognized a mismatch with Lillard sticking Nowitzki. The German backed his way down, turned around, buried the jumper at the top of the key and completed the three-point play with one at the line.
Later, Batum hit a jumper and Ellis finished a frantic possession for Dallas at the other end with a wide-open 3 from the near corner that pushed the lead to 104-100 with under two minutes to play.
Following a miss from Lillard, Nowitzki backed down Batum as accustomed and made a high-arching jumper to increase the advantage with 45.9 ticks left.
Batum hit a 3 to cut the deficit in half and following an Ellis miss, Mo Williams had a chance to tie the game but missed a wide-open trey with 10.8 seconds remaining.
Ellis turned the ball over at midcourt with 6.8 seconds left after getting trapped by Wesley Matthews and Aldridge.
Portland led 30-28 after the first quarter but Dallas regained the lead after a very tight second frame. Neither team had a lead larger than four in the second with nine lead changes and four ties as the Mavericks took a 55-53 advantage at the half.
Dallas built its lead to as many as 10 in the third but Portland closed within three, 79-76, heading into the fourth.
There were 18 lead changes and 12 ties ... Dallas outscored Portland 54-36 in the paint ... Portland outrebounded Dallas 50-36 ... Dallas continues its four-game road trip with a meeting in Sacramento on Monday ... Portland will play the Jazz in Utah on Monday.
12/08 03:18:21 ET