Dallas Mavericks Defeat Portland Trail Blazers 111-101 in Overtime

Dallas Mavericks Center Tyson Chandler battles Portland Trail Blazers Center Robin Lopez for the Tipoff Saturday February 7, 2015.  Mandatory Photo Credit - Matt Thornton

Dallas Mavericks Center Tyson Chandler battles Portland Trail Blazers Center Robin Lopez for the Tipoff Saturday February 7, 2015. Mandatory Photo Credit – Matt Thornton

The Dallas Mavericks battled back from a 16-point deficit to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 111-101 in overtime on Saturday during African American Heritage night at the American Airlines Center. Forward Dirk Nowitzki with 25 points led the Mavs while both guard Monte Ellis and forward Chandler Parsons contributed 20 buckets each. After the game, Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said of the game, “Earning that win is one of the best wins we’ve had in the seven years I’ve been here.” He said he was proud of his team’s grit in continuing to fight even though they were down, and also had a high praise for the late defensive surge by the Mavericks. Watch the full press conference.

Late in the fourth quarter with 20.9 seconds remaining, Dirk Nowitzki hit a dagger three to send the game to overtime. The sellout American Airlines Center crowd erupted and was perhaps as loud as they’ve been this entire season. Dirk said after the game he felt like it was a win the team needed and could use the momentum to build upon for the remainder of the season. This was Nowitzki’s 20th game with 20-plus points this season and the Mavs are 6-1 when the big German scores 25 or more points in a game. Watch Nowitzki’s full locker room interview.

Music artist George Clinton and members of Parliament Funkadelic performed at half time causing team owner Mark Cuban to declare that he “tore the roof off the mutha” in reference to Clinton’s hit song “Give Up The Funk.”  The spirited performance seemed to give the Mavs some energy as their defense was stellar in the final minutes of regulation while only giving up 5 points in overtime. Portland’s big men, centers Robin Lopez and Chris Kaman had relatively quiet games with just 14 points combined thanks to the Mavs defensive effort which was paced by center Tyson Chandler. Tyson had his third straight double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds in 38 minutes, and he has 23 double-doubles this season with 245 for his career. Tyson addressed the media after the game.

With the comeback win, the Mavericks now improve to 35-18 and a perfect 5-0 in overtime games this season. The victory was important for the Mavs who play in the highly competitive NBA Southwest Division and could use this momentum going into the second half of the season. Dallas has two more games on Monday versus the Los Angeles Clippers and Wednesday against the Utah Jazz before going into the All-Star weekend.

Follow Matt Thornton on Twitter: @MattsCowboys