NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 18th (All times Eastern)
Portland Trail Blazers (30-9) at Dallas Mavericks (24-17), 8:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers are coming off a sensational win last time out and will try to sustain their momentum Saturday night when they visit the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Arena.
The Blazers knocked off the San Antonio Spurs, 109-100, Friday night in San Antonio. That was Portland's fourth consecutive victory and got a difficult road trip off to a great start.
"It was a huge win, especially with the rest of the trip that we have in front of us," said Damian Lillard. "It was big for us to come here against probably the toughest one of them all, and to get a win. I think it's great momentum for us going forward."
Portland will visit the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder on this brutal four-game road trip, which features four playoff-bound opponents, if the season ended in mid-January.
Wesley Matthews made three of his six 3-pointers in the final four minutes to lift the Trail Blazers to victory. Matthews ended with 24 points and six rebounds for the Blazers, who are now just a half-game behind San Antonio for the best record in the Western Conference.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 26 points and 13 boards for Portland, which has won four in a row. Lillard tallied 21 points and eight assists and Mo Williams had 13 off the bench.
Dallas came off a pretty solid victory itself on Friday, a 110-107 road win over the Phoenix Suns.
Monta Ellis scored 24 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 21. Rookie Shane Larkin scored a career-high 18 points off the bench and Shawn Marion finished with 16 for the Mavericks, winners in four of their last five games.
"Coach told us we can either fall apart or come together. Tonight, we came together," said Larkin.
Dallas shot 53 percent (44-for-83) from the field, but this was a hard-earned win. Phoenix's P.J. Tucker missed an open 3-pointer, then Markieff Morris missed multiple putback attempts.
After Saturday's home contest with the Blazers, Dallas hits the road east for three straight.
On Friday, the Mavs announced reserve guard Gal Mekel underwent arthroscopic surgery to address a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee. There is no timetable for his return. The rookie has appeared in 30 games this season.
The Mavs beat the Blazers in Portland on Dec. 7 and have prevailed in six of the last eight meetings. Portland has lost 16 of its last 19 contests in Big D.
01/18 10:23:50 ET