This was the best win of the season.
For three and a half quarters the Mavs did very Mavsian things: they didn't rebound, they defended the three poorly, and they struggled to create clean looks. It looked like the Mavs were on their way to another bad loss to a top-8 Western conference team. However, with about three minutes to play, Chandler Parsons and Dirk Nowitzki decided the Mavs were not losing. Dirk poured in 25 points and Parsons added 20 points with nine rebounds. The duo resurrected the team from a 16-point deficit to give them a 111-101 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Once again, Al-Farouq Aminu provided a huge spark off the bench for the Mavs. He registered nine points, nine rebounds, and two blocks while providing a valuable defensive effort. Aminu was a complete terror on both ends. He flusterd LaMarcus Aldridge on the defensive end by staying on the ground and preventing him from getting to the middle of the floor. Aminu appears omnipresent on the defensive end of the floor. He covers an incredible amount of ground to generate deflections, steals, and monstrous weak side blocks. Furthermore, he's able to turn those turnovers into dynamic plays in transition. He's been a joy to watch over the last couple weeks.
Down the stretch, Portland switched against the Mavs' pick and roll causing 6'3 Damian Lillard to guard Dirk in the middle of the floor. Dirk was able to take advantage of the mismatch by hitting several short fadeaways over Lillard. Dirk's most important bucket came on a scramble play with under 20 seconds to go. Monta launched a three with that ricocheted off the rim to Harris in the short corner. Harris then swung the ball to Monta who ran a short pick and pop with Dirk, which resulted in a high arcing three for the Blonde Bomber to tie the game. Vintage Dirk showed up just in time to steal this game for the Mavs.
In overtime, Chander Parsons commandeered the offense. Parsons started off hot in the first quarter with seven quick points, but he struggled to get a shot to drop until late in the fourth quarter. His struggles from the field didn't prevent Parsons from staying aggressive and crashing the boards hard. In overtime, Parsons ran several high pick and rolls with Dirk that got him one of a layup, free throws, or a mid-range jumper. He scored 10 points in the period, but his best play of the night didn't involve scoring. After a miss late in overtime, he soared for an offensive rebound and made a nifty jump pass to Monta Ellis for the dagger three. Parsons earned every cent of his max contract tonight.
The Mavs struggles against top teams in the West have been well documented. This win should give the Mavs an ample amount of confidence going forward in the season.