Why did Damian Lillard walk into Thursday night's game versus Dallas carrying this odd doll? It's a tribute to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, one of his heroes, and a shout out to his new sneaker line as well. Lillard was coming off a record breaking 61-point night against the Golden State Warriors, and all eyes were on the match-up between him and Dallas' newly minted 20 year-old All-Star, Luka Doncic. Lillard may have won that battle, scoring a game high 47 points, but Luka and the Mavericks won the war, handing the Blazers their third loss in four games, 133-125.
Dallas is a good team this season, enjoying excellent play from their soon-to-be superstar Doncic, big man Kristaps Porzingis, and role players like Maxi Kleber and Seth Curry. Portland continues to struggle with injuries to key players like CJ McCollum, Zach Collins, Rodney Hood, and Jusuf Nurkic. Lillard has been forced to carry a heavy load. Re-enforcements arrived on Thursday in the form of veteran wing Trevor Ariza, who played well against Dallas (21 points, 7 rebounds), but it wasn't enough. The two teams set a record for most combined three pointers made in a single game (43) and Portland kept it close at times, but Dallas proved to be the stronger team on this night. Here's a look at some the fans roaming the Moda Center hallways:
Wear a blazer to support the Blazers:
This guy Charlie is from Seattle and says he will always be a Sonics fan, even if they no longer exist. He loves Damian Lillard because he hit the shot that destroyed OKC, which is the team that destroyed the Sonics, if that makes sense. He even made himself an honorary Lillard Sonics jersey.
Yeah, there were a few Dallas fans in the house as well:
Okay, so the second half of the game was entertaining, but Portland never got closer than seven points. If you want to see some highlights, you can watch them here:
Portland now sits at tenth place in the western conference with a disappointing 19-27 record. They host the Indiana Pacers at home on Sunday night in a game which should be similarly challenging to the Dallas matchup. A win for the Blazers is not out of reach, and would be a nice surprise.