NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 7th (All times Eastern)
Dallas Mavericks (12-8) at Portland Trail Blazers (17-3), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers are on fire and will try to continue that momentum on Saturday night when they conclude a four-game homestand against the Dallas Mavericks.
The Blazers have won four straight and 15 of their last 16. Their most recent victory might have been their most impressive as they throttled the Utah Jazz, 130-98 on Friday night.
Portland made a franchise-record 17 3-pointers and shot an eye-opening 73.9 percent from long range. The Blazers' 73.9 percent 3-point shooting (17-23) is the highest by any team that made at least 15 3-pointers in NBA history.
"Our 3-point shooters are good 3-point shooters. That's not surprising," said Portland coach Terry Stotts. "Now you don't expect to shoot that well obviously, but more importantly, our 3s are in rhythm. They're good shots for the guys taking them. When those guys are taking open 3s, there is a good chance they'll go in."
Damian Lillard made five from long range, followed by four from Wesley Matthews, three from Niclas Batum, two apiece from Dorell Wright and Allen Crabbe and Mo Williams even made one.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points and 15 rebounds.
The 130 points marked a season-high for the Blazers, who own the best record in the Western Conference. Portland has won at least 17 of its first 20 games for just the third time in franchise history.
The Mavericks opened a four-game road trip with Wednesday's 100-97 win at New Orleans and Dirk Nowitzki led six players in double figures with 21 points on 7-of-17 shooting. Nowitzki has scored 20-plus points in seven of his last 10 games and 11 times total this season.
Monta Ellis notched his second double-double of the season with 14 points, six rebounds, a game-high 10 assists, Vince Carter had 15 points off the bench and both DeJuan Blair and Jose Calderon netted 12 apiece for the Mavs, who used a Calderon 3-pointer to erase a 92-91 deficit for a two-point lead.
New Orleans was able to even the score twice in the last three minutes, but never took back the lead.
Dallas has won two straight since losing four of five and improved to 3-6 away from Big D. Shawn Marion had 10 points and the Mavs' bench outscored New Orleans' reserves, 31-10.
"It feels good to get a huge win for us as a team, and we're happy to get through this back-to-back like this," Calderon said. "It was good, good enough."
The Mavs will visit Sacramento and the Golden State Warriors on the trip, and took three of four meetings from Portland a season ago. Dallas is 8-4 in the last 12 matchups in this series and has won 11 of its last 17 at Portland.
12/07 10:56:55 ET