Blazers lose in OT to Mavs 95-89

Steve Blake did everything he could to carry the Blazers on his shoulders, but in the end, the Dallas Mavericks were too much. Blake scored Portland’s last 11 points in regulation, including a game-tying three-pointer that sent the affair into overtime, yet the Blazers fell to the Mavericks 95-89 at the Rose Garden on Sunday evening.

Dallas (31-10) was led by an outstanding performance from sixth man Jerry Stackhouse, who had a game-high 29 points and, at times, took over the court.

“We’ve been doing it all season,” Stackhouse said. “It’s starting to become who we are. We now feel like we can win any game, in any situation. Especially close ones like this.”

The Blazers kept Dirk Nowitzki quiet for most of the night, allowing him to shoot only eight of 20 from the floor for 23 points.

Portland (14-25) received 23 points and 11 rebounds from Zach Randolph, 20 points apiece from Blake and Juan Dixon and 10 rebounds from Viktor Khryapa.

In what amounted to a low-scoring game (100+ nights are routine for the Mavericks), the Blazers’ effort came and went in waves.

“Offensively, we weren’t sharp with our execution – and that’s including me,” said Portland head coach Nate McMillan. “We settled for too many perimeter shots. We didn’t work hard enough for position in the paint. And we let them take the passing lanes away.”

Defensively though, the Blazers more than held their own. In fact, Portland put forth one of its best defensive attacks of the season.

“We’re getting better,” said Joel Pryzbilla. “We’re starting to learn to play together as a team on defense. Coach is always talking about being aggressive and I think we did a good job of that tonight.”

While the Blazers shot only 40.7 percent from the field, they held the Mavericks to 40.2 percent. Portland also out-rebounded Dallas 51 to 45.

“It’s disappointing,” Pryzbilla said. “Deep down, we know that we had the game. We know that it was ours to win. But, at the same time, there’s a lot that we can take from the loss and how we lost it.”

The defeat snapped the Blazers season-high four-game win streak.

Portland has a tough road ahead, as three of the NBA’s hottest teams (Denver, New Jersey and San Antonio) all roll into town in the next 10 days.