The Seagoville silencer struck again against his hometown team.
Just like last April at the American Airlines Center, LaMarcus Aldridge knocked down a buzzer-beating turnaround jumper to beat the Mavericks.
Aldridge, who joins Miami’s Chris Bosh as Dallas ISD products headed to the All-Star Game, capped a crazy game at the Rose Garden by calmly knocking down a turnaround jumper over Brandan Wright as time expired. Aldridge spoiled Dirk Nowitzki’s best performance of the season – and what could have been Dirk’s first clutch dagger in 2012-13 – by scoring five points in the final five seconds to allow the Trail Blazers to win a game they trailed by 21 points.
“This is what you live for,” Aldridge said of his game-winner, according to SI.com. “That one felt great. That one felt real easy.”
With 1.5 seconds remaining, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle opted to defend Aldridge with Wright, who had been relegated to the end of the bench for weeks until the last couple of games. Aldridge marched Wright down to his sweet spot just above the block before catching the inbounds pass and launching his go-to shot, a turnaround over his right shoulder.
“I was surprised I caught it so deep and I just turned,” said Aldridge, who had 29 points and 13 rebounds. “I was very surprised.”
Said Carlisle: “We had our longest guy on him, but he just made a better play.”
A few more notes from the Mavs’ critical, crushing loss:
1. Big man committee continues: Chris Kaman (concussion) is sidelined indefinitely, but the Mavs still went three-deep at center.
The energetic, athletic James scored a career-high 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting, grabbed three rebounds and blocked a shot in 15 minutes. The Mavs were plus-3 with him on the floor.
Wright got his most playing time in a month, putting up eight points on 3-of-5 shooting and eight rebounds with a block and a steal in 15 minutes. The Mavs were plus-15 with him on the floor.
Brand, who had been a key to the Mavs’ recent success, had his worst performance in weeks. He had only two points and two rebounds, shooting 1-of-6 from the floor. The Mavs were outscored by 15 in his 17 minutes.
Defending the Blazers’ bigs was a problem for all of the Mavs’ centers and Nowitzki. Aldridge (19 points, 13 rebounds) and J.J. Hickson (26 points, 15 rebounds) combined to shoot 63.6 percent from the floor (21-of-33).
2. Mayo’s late misery: For most of the night, O.J. Mayo played a terrific all-around game, scoring 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, dishing out nine assists and grabbing seven rebounds. Too bad he committed five turnovers, including three in the final 77 seconds.
Mayo lost the ball on the dribble with 1:17 to go, had a poor inbounds pass stolen by Wesley Matthews with 55 seconds remaining and was called for a questionable charge with 1.5 ticks on the clock.
“You can’t do that,” Mayo told reporters. “I’ll take this one on the chin.”
Collison had 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting with nine assists Tuesday night, compared to Lillard’s 10-point, 3-of-11, eight-assist performance.
The matchup was much more lopsided during the Blazers’ November visit to Dallas, when Lillard had an off night after lighting it up in the first three games of his NBA career. Lillard had 13 points on 2-of-13 shooting with five assists that night, while Collison put up a 14-point, 13-assist double-double while going 5-of-8 from the floor.