The Mavericks went through a scoring drought Saturday in which they missed 10 consecutive field goals against the Trail Blazers during a span of over 11 minutes in the third and fourth quarters.
With Dallas leading 57-47 in the third quarter, Portland went on a 10-2 run to cut the deficit to 59-57 with 1:47 left in the period. Dallas didn't make a field goal from the 4:37 mark in the third until 5:28 left in fourth.
During the stretch, the Mavericks lost the lead when the Blazers' Rudy Fernandez scored on a drive to the basket to give his team a 65-63 lead with 9:19 to play.
"It wasn’t frustrating at all, it was encouraging actually because we weren’t scoring and neither were they," Mavericks guard Jason Terry said. "We were locking up pretty good. When they did get a couple of baskets and took the lead, we held our ground and we continued to communicate. And we knew if we got them to a close game anywhere in the game, our guys could do good things."
The Mavericks eventually did some good things.
After Dirk Nowitzki missed a jumper -- the 10th consecutive miss by the Mavericks -- the defense stepped up. Portland's Gerald Wallace turned the ball over, and Jason Kidd nailed a jumper to cut the deficit to four. Nowitzki made four free throw on the next two possessions to tie the score, 72-72.
"Our defense was a big part," Shawn Marion said. "We were able to get rebounds when we needed to and we tried to limit their opportunities. There was a couple of stretches where there were some loose balls here and there, but for the most part we were there."