Trail Blazers vs Mavericks Saturday, 04/23/11 AT 02:00PM

Preview: Trail Blazers Motivated For Series Split

04/22/11
  1. Written by: ShalamarClark  / avg. rating: 4.5

    The Portland Trail Blazers are one win away from defending their home court and tying the series at two apiece with the Dallas Mavericks.

    The Trail Blazers (1-2) will continue to hold down the Rose Garden, when they host the Mavs (2-1) on Saturday for the second straight contest and look to even the series in the Game 4 matchup. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 PM.

    Portland got its retaliation on Dallas for the 0-2 start after Wesley Matthews heated up from long distance in the first quarter, knocking down four three-pointers and ended with a team-high 25 points in Thursday’s 97-92 win at home.

    Matthews went 8-of-12 from the floor, but finished the opening quarter 6-of-7 after sinking everything but one 3-pointer that would have been his fifth.

    LaMarcus Aldridge, who’s averaging 23.6 points, recorded 20, Andre Miller and Brandon Roy ended with 16, and Nicolas Batum and Gerald Wallace added seven each for the Trail Blazers. Wallace also hauled in a game-best 11 rebounds.

    Wallace is the second-leading rebounder for the Trail Blazers with 23 in the series, behind 36 from Marcus Camby.

    Momentum has swung on Portland side and a large portion of the shift is due to the Trail Blazers’ home crowd, which acted as a reserve energy source for the team. 

    Portland successfully limited Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki to scoring single digits in the fourth quarter that hurt the Trail Blazers in Games 1 and 2. Nowitzki scored 18 and 14 in the final frame of the two contests, but was held to nine points on Thursday. 

    Nowitzki still managed to reach 25 points and is averaging 28.6 points per game. But it was Mavs’ guard Jason Terry, who kept Dallas in the hunt, connecting on 10-of-13 for the floor, including five 3-pointers, for 29 points. Terry is 5-of-10 from deep in three games.

    Terry’s outside shooting gave the Mavs a one-point lead in the closing seconds of the third, but Portland completed a 16-2 run that began with 32.2 seconds left in the third and rolled to an 87-74 lead in the fourth quarter. 

    Roy, who had been ineffective in the first two meetings, shooting 1-of-8 for two points, revived the Trail Blazers’ bench. He tallied 14 of his 16 points in the second and third periods and ended 6-of-10 from the field, including 1-of-3 from downtown.

    But Portland has yet to outscore Dallas’ most consistent weapon–its bench–after the Mavs’ reserves posted a 48-23 margin with Terry carrying most of the load.

    In Dallas, the Trail Blazers were 9-of-30 from long range, but with Matthews help, Portland went 8-of-14 in its first home game of the postseason. 

    Meanwhile, the Mavs have not shot below 40 percent from beyond the arc in all three games.

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

    Watch the Trail Blazers in action on TNT and KGW NewsChannel 8 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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