Trail Blazers vs Mavericks Tuesday, 03/15/11 AT 07:00PM

Preview: Trail Blazers Get It Moving Against Mavericks

  1. Written by: ShalamarClark  / avg. rating: 4.8

    There’s been a lot of movement in the standings for the Portland Trail Blazers, but not in the direction they may like.

    Portland (37-29) dropped from the sixth spot to the seventh position in the Western Conference after starting a four-game trip with victories over Orlando and Miami, then falling at Charlotte and Atlanta over the weekend.

    The Trail Blazers are back in the Rose Garden for their next three matchups–Dallas, Cleveland and Philadelphia– and they’re looking to get things moving in the right direction when they host the Mavericks on Tuesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 PM.

    Portland is looking to get its first win against Dallas (47-19), which leads the series 2-0, after the Mavericks pulled away with an 84-81 victory at home on Jan. 4 with 18-point performances from DeShawn Stevenson and Jason Terry.

    With Dirk Nowitzski sidelined from action with a sprained right knee, Stevenson hit four 3-pointers, while Terry scored 12 of his points in the fourth and dished out four assists to snap the Trail Blazers’ two-game winning streak.

    LaMarcus Aldridge, who’s averaging 31.5 points and 10 rebounds in two meeting against Dallas, led Portland with a double-double of 28 points and 10 rebounds. He also set an old season high of 35 points in the Dec.15 loss after scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter.

    Marcus Camby dominated the boards, snatching a season-high 20 in his last outing against the Mavericks and scoring 10 points to give the Trail Blazers a 26-17 advantage on the offensive glass in the series.

    Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews also ended with double-digit scoring. Batum had 13 points and seven rebounds, while Matthews recorded 10 points after putting in two from three-range.

    Portland, which is 2-3 in its last five home games, can get back in rhythm when Dallas tries to regain its composure after losing to the Lakers at home on Saturday.

    The Mavericks have lost three of their last five and were topped by the Lakers, 96-91, despite two double-double efforts from Shawn Marion and Nowitzski. 

    Marion scored 25 points and 12 rebounds, while Nowitzski also landed with 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, but was outdone by 22 points and 15 rebounds from the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum.

    The Mavericks have faired well on the road, winning nine of their last 11, when they start a two-game trip in the Rose City. 

    Against Portland, Dallas has won six of the last seven series. Portland claimed a 3-1 record last year for its first season win since defeating the Mavericks 3-0 in 1998-99. 

    On Saturday, the Trail Blazers converted 21-of-25 free throws against the Hawks, but shot 35 percent from the field in the 91-82 loss. Aldridge led the team with 22 points, six rebounds and tied a career-high seven assists.

    Matthews had 19 points after hitting three from beyond the arc, Brandon Roy scored 16 off the bench, Rudy Fernandez chipped in with 10 and Gerald Wallace pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds and added five points. 

    The Trail Blazers will be without Greg Oden and Elliot Williams, who are both out with knee-related injuries.

    For Dallas, Peja Stojakovic (neck) and Dominique Jones (right foot) will not play.

    Watch the Trail Blazers in action on KGW and Comcast SportsNet Channel 37 with Mike Barrett and Mike Rice. Also, listen to the live play-by-play from Brian Wheeler and Antonio Harvey on 95.5 FM The Game.

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