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
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
01/18 10:23:50 ET