Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/6/12
DALLAS - O.J. Mayo continues to demonstrate why he should be a starter in the NBA. After spending most of the past two seasons coming off the bench for Memphis, Mayo had his second straight game of 30 points or more on Monday as a member of Dallas' starting lineup. After scoring 30 in Saturday's win over Charlotte, he poured in 32 on Monday and the Mavericks pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 114-91 at American Airlines Center. The Mavericks improved to 3-1 with their second consecutive win at home, while Portland dropped to 2-2. Mayo's two 30-point games represented his highest scoring games in three years, and the fifth-year guard has drilled 13 of 18 three-pointers in the last two games. "I like how he's playing under control," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "And he's making other guys better." Mayo's comfort level with his new teammates is on the rise. "We've been here since the end of July," he said. "Hopefully, it can come together soon. That's the plan." Dallas point guard Darren Collison added 14 points and 13 assists, his second double-double in a row. Chris Kaman had 16 points off the bench. The Mavericks shot 61.5 percent after knocking down 61.3 percent against the Bobcats. "We didn't do a good enough job defensively," first-year Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "I think Dallas put on a flow clinic in the second half. The ball was moving, setting good screens, they made shots, got to the rim, and the game kind of got away from us in the middle of the fourth quarter." LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews paced the Blazers with 20 points apiece. Rookie point guard Damian Lillard had 13 points and five assists, but he shot 2-of-13. "He missed some open looks that he's been making," Stotts said. "He saw some pick-and-roll defense. They were very aggressive in the second half, blitzing and trying to take the ball out of his hands." The Mavericks turned a close game into a rout with a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter to open up a 95-83 lead. Kaman and Dominique Jones each scored four points during the spurt to give Dallas its first double-digit lead since the first quarter. The Blazers were able to stay close for much of the game, which featured a battle of similar styles. Portland and Dallas are near mirror images of each other offensively, and it makes sense. Stotts spent the previous four years on Carlisle's staff. Mayo's sizzling performance in the third quarter kept the Maverick ahead going into the fourth. He drilled all four of his shots in the period, each coming from beyond the arc. Excluding Mayo, Dallas was only 4-for-15 from the floor in the third quarter. Dallas went into the locker room holding a slim 57-55 halftime lead behind 16 points from Mayo. The Mavericks led throughout the half, but weren't able to shake the scrappy Blazers despite shooting 63.4 percent. Portland shot 50 percent through the first two quarters and kept close by pounding the glass, especially after missed shots. The Blazers had eight offensive rebounds, leading to an 11-3 edge in second-chance points. Aldridge had 15 points and Matthews added 12 by halftime. Lillard (eight points) and Meyers Leonard (six points, seven rebounds) were also productive in the first half. Kaman came off the bench for Dallas with 10 points on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting. Collison had eight points and eight assists in the first half. Mayo had the hot hand early for the Mavericks. He scored 12 of Dallas' first 22 points as the home team took control early. The Blazers found themselves down 20-10 after Mayo drilled a 3-pointer midway through the opening period. Portland began to crawl its way back behind Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Lillard. NOTES: Inactives were Dirk Nowitzki and Roddy Beaubois (ankle) for Dallas, and Victor Claver and Elliot Williams for Portland. ... Stotts was an assistant for four years with the Mavericks. "I always thought he was a guy who had a lot of strengths and few, if any, weaknesses," said his former boss, Carlisle. ... Former Mavericks and ESPN play-by-play announcer Jim Durham died unexpectedly Monday. "He was irreplaceable," Mark Cuban said. ... Dallas forward Shawn Marion left the game in the second half with a sprained left knee.
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