PORTLAND, ORE. – Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews ruptured his left Achilles tendon in Portland's game against Dallas on Thursday night and is out for the season.
Matthews was running with the ball when he fell to the court two minutes into the third quarter and was helped off the floor.
An MRI confirmed the injury, the team said.
After the 94-75 victory over the Mavericks, Matthews talked about hearing a pop when his Achilles gave out.
"Disbelief, you know?" he said afterward. "I'm sitting up there in that tube getting the MRI and I don't hear noise, I don't feel my Achilles. I just can't believe I'm there while my team is battling. I hadn't processed it yet. When I came out they said `It's torn,' but still."
Matthews was third on the team with an average of 15.9 points per game, along with 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists for the Blazers this season. He started all 60 games.
Matthews said he'll have to have surgery, but it has not been scheduled.
His teammates lamented the loss of the player fans call "Iron Man" for his toughness.
"Wes plays harder than anybody on our team," said guard Damian Lillard. "It's hard for our team to think about not having out there because of everything he brings to this team and the person that he is."
LaMarcus Aldridge echoed the sentiment: "He's the heart and soul of this team. ... I've played with him for seven or eight years now, so losing him is going to be tough."
The Blazers will look to Steve Blake, CJ McCollum and newly acquired guard Arron Afflalo to stand in during Matthews' absence. The injury comes as the Blazers (41-19) fight for playoff position in the Western Conference with 20 games to go in the regular season.
"I'm frustrated, man. I'm frustrated," Matthews said. "They say everything happens for a reason, and I was thinking it, too. But what was the reason? I can't find it right now."
Matthews was fourth in the NBA with 173 three-pointers this season. He had 11 games with five or more threes.