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4 things we learned as Dallas steals one from Blazers

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It was a bit of a rollercoaster, but it goes down as a win all the same.

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

An overtime thriller in Portland ends with the Dallas Mavericks victorious.  Deron Williams leads the way with 30 points -- nine coming in the extra period -- and the Mavs advance to 11-8, keeping pace with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Here are four things we learned:

Another frustrating loss becomes a signature win?

Dallas alternated looking terrific with looking utterly useless, almost all game long, and with 80 seconds left they found themselves down 96-89.  To pull this one out has to feel pretty good.  It's a cliche, but Dallas played with the kind of poise and grit we've hoped for but have not always seen from such an experienced group. They led early, and then after falling behind, battled back to lead going into the fourth quarter, but were a few makes away from losing five of their last six games.  For one night, anyway, they were able to out-execute a younger team late.

Starters earn their money

With Barea still out and Parsons and McGee sitting on the second night of a back to back, the Dallas bench was a little thin. Still, it's pretty shocking to see a starting lineup outscore their backups 99-16. All four of the Mavs regular starters were outstanding: Deron's 30-8-6 line was his best in a Dallas uniform, and took over in OT, hitting a dagger three with under a minute left. Dirk added 28 points and several huge shots as well, including a game-tying tip in the final seconds of regulation.  While we're covering all the big baskets, perhaps none were bigger than the pair of back-to-back threes Wes Matthews hit en route to 18 points that shrunk the Portland advantage from 10 to 4 with 4:30 left. Lastly but certainly not least, Zaza posted yet another double-double with a rock-solid 14 points and 21 rebounds.

Streaky Mavs nearly shat the bed

Prior to the Wes Matthews threes, Dallas had just one field goal make (on the first possession of the period) in the fourth quarter, spanning over seven minutes. The NBA is a sport of runs, but it is still strange to see this lineup go so cold after lighting things up early.  When the jumpshots aren't falling, they really aren't falling.

No "bow" but all heart for Matthews

One of the storylines to watch Tuesday night was how Matthews would do in his return to Portland. Though he retired his "bow" move for one night, Matthews had the 3-ball working, and also led Dallas in plus/minus at +20. This was the type of performance Blazers fans undoubtedly have seen before and Mavs fans hope to see for years to come.

The victory saved, Dallas has some nice momentum heading into a division matchup Friday with the Houston Rockets, who are reeling but still have more than enough talent to cause problems.  The season rolls on.