Dec 7, 2013; Portland, OR, USA; Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) defends against Portland Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during the first quarter of the game at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Mavericks vs Blazers Preview: Mavs look to end season-long skid

Dec 7, 2013; Portland, OR, USA; Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Monta Ellis (11) hits the game winning shot over Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard Wesley Matthews (2) during the fourth quarter of the game at Moda Center. The Mavs won the game 108-106. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

DALLAS MAVERICKS (36-26) vs PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS- March 7 at 8:30 p.m. ET at American Airlines Center 

Coming off a 115-100 loss in Denver on March 5 that put the Mavericks at a season-long three-game losing streak, Dallas returns home for two games against some tough competition, starting with the Portland Trail Blazers on March 7. Game starts at 8:30 p.m. ET and can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest with Mark Followill and Derek Harper.

The Mavericks have dropped three straight with a home loss to the Bulls and a road loss to the Spurs. Dallas had won its previous four.

As for the Blazers, they won 102-78 against the Hawks on March 5. Nicolas Batum led Portland with 14 points and 18 boards. The Blazers have won six of seven, with their lone loss to the Lakers 107-106 on March 3.

 

West Update: The Mavericks found themselves in the 6th spot in the Western Conference before dropping back down to 8th. Dallas has been battling for that 6th seed for the majority of the season with the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns. The Memphis Grizzlies are also on the Mavs’ heels, just a game back in the 9th spot.

6. Warriors (38-24)- 0.613

7. Suns (36-25)- 0.590

8. Mavs (36-26)- 0.581

9. Grizzlies (34-26)- 0.567

 

Milestone Watch: Dirk Nowitzki is on the verge of passing Hall-of-Famer John Havlicek for 12th all time in career scoring. The Tall Baller from the G needs 49 points to pass the legendary Boston Celtic, and in doing so, will have scored the second-most points with one team in NBA history (Kobe Bryant).

For The Win: Facing the hottest team in the league on the road, the Mavs fought hard in Portland on Dec. 7 against the 17-3 Blazers. Nowitzki scored 30 points and added six boards and seven dimes, but the real hero was Monta Ellis. Ellis, who finished with 20 points, hit the 21-foot dagger with no time left to hand the Blazers their second home loss of the season. Dallas shot 52 percent from the field and 8-of-16 from downtown while holding the Blazers to 45 percent shooting and 9-of-30 from three. Damian Lillard had a season-high 32 points and hit five treys.

 

Season Series: The Mavericks got a big road win, thanks to Ellis, but the Blazers came right back and whipped Dallas in Big D, 127-111 on Jan. 18. Portland was up as much as 36 in the third quarter before the Mavs made it a bit respectable. Both teams had five players in double figures, but Nowitzki led Dallas with 18 points while LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 30 points and 12 boards. Batum added 21 points and Robin Lopez had 16 and 12.

Must Win: With the Grizzlies right on Dallas’ tail, Friday’s game is definitely a must-win. It doesn’t get any easier for the Mavs as they’ll face the Pacers, Warriors and Thunder in their next four games. The Mavs would like to come out of the OKC game with a respectable record and remain in the thick of things because they’ll come back home for eight straight from March 17-April 1. The Mavs will start that home stand with four teams currently out of the playoff picture.

Top-10 Team: Both Portland and Dallas are in the top-10 in more than just points and assists per game.

DAL     

Points (104.5- 8th) 

Assists (23.7- 4th)

Steals (8.8- 3rd)

Turnovers (13.1- 4th)

FG Percentage (47.3- 5th)

3-pt Percentage (37.8- 4th)

FT Percentage (80.1- 3rd)

FG Made (39.6- 2nd)

Opponents Turnovers (15.5- 5th)

Opponents Blocks (3.6- 3rd)

Assist-Turnover Ratio (1.81- 2nd)

POR

Points (107.7- 1st) 

Point Differential (+5.1- 6th)

Assists (23.5- 6th)

Turnovers (13.4- 7th)

Rebounds (46.5- 1st)

Offensive Rebounds (12.6- 3rd)

FG Made (39.6- 2nd)

3-pt Percentage (37.8- 4th)

FT Percentage (82.4- 1st)

 

 

 

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Tags: Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki LaMarcus Aldridge Monta Ellis

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