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Tuesday, January 31, 2023
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Tuesday, January 31, 2023
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    Lillard has 32 and Blazers beat Mavs to end skid

    PORTLAND, OREGON (AP) – Damian Lillard had 36 points and 10 assists, and the Portland Trail Blazers snapped a five-game losing streak with a 136-119 victory over the Dallas Mavericks yesterday.

    Jusuf Nurkic added 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers, who face the Mavericks again today.

    Spencer Dinwiddie led Dallas with 25 points. Luka Doncic was held to a season-low 15 points before Mavericks coach Jason Kidd pulled him with seven minutes to go.

    “It feels great. When you’re trying to fight for a win and you get in that type of funk, it seems like it’s never going to end. But you’ve just got to keep pushing,” Lillard said about the end of the losing streak. “I’ve been saying, when your mind is right and you’re pushing, everybody’s pulling the rope in the same direction, you find your way to where you need to get to. And a lot of times all it takes is one.”

    Portland led by as many as 20 points early in the second half and went into the fourth quarter up 106-90. Nurkic dunked to give the Blazers a 116-94 lead with 9:59 left.

    Dallas Mavericks centre JaVale McGee fouls Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard. PHOTO: AP

    Doncic and Lillard had a heated exchange before Lillard scored to give the Blazers a 122-102 lead. Tim Hardaway Jr left the court a short time earlier and limped to the locker room with what appeared to be a left ankle injury.

    The Mavs have already been beset by injuries, with Josh Green, Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith all out.

    “Hopefully we do get healthy soon, but until then we have to play with the guys who are in uniform,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said.

    Lillard’s three-pointer put the Blazers ahead 65-49 and they went on to lead 71-56 at halftime.

    “We broke through,” Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said. “We played so much better. We were really, really aggressive defensively and it just kind of fuelled us.”

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