Trail Blazers at Mavericks
7:30 p.m. Friday, American Airlines Center, Dallas
Radio: ESPN/103.3 FM, KFLC/1270 AM (Spanish)
Records: Trail Blazers 42-19, Mavericks 36-26
About the Trail Blazers: After losing five of seven games, the Blazers righted themselves and have wins in six of their last seven. ... Portland is a high-energy team that scores in bushels, but also gives up points in bushels. The Blazers lead all teams in scoring with 107.7 ppg, but are only 25th in points allowed at 102.6 ppg. ... Behind All-Stars LaMarcus Aldridge (23.5 ppg, 11.1 rpg) and Damian Lillard (21 ppg, 5.6 apg), the Blazers own the fifth seed in the West and are only four games behind top-seeded Oklahoma City. ... Portland also is second in the Northwest Division and owns the NBA’s seventh-best record. ... The Blazers are a very aggressive and physical team, and are first in the league in rebounds (46.5 rpg) and sixth in assists (23.5 apg). ... Portland is 23-15 against the West, 18-11 on the road and is coming off Wednesday’s 102-78 blowout victory over the Atlanta Hawks. ... Wesley Matthews (16.2 ppg), Nicolas Batum (13 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 5.2 apg) and Robin Lopez (11 ppg, 8.7 rpg) are role players who complement Aldridge and Lillard very well.
About the Mavericks: Dallas has dropped three games in a row for the first time this season. The losses were at home to Chicago, and on the road against San Antonio and Denver. ... Wednesday’s 115-110 loss to the Nuggets was particularly bothersome because Denver had dropped 11 of its last 12 games and is out of playoff contention. Coach Rick Carlisle blamed himself for the loss to the Nuggets, but the players know they’re the ones who got outworked. ... With 20 games left, Carlisle describes this as “a time of great urgency” as the Mavs try to secure a Western Conference playoff spot. ... The Mavs are encouraged because they defeated the Blazers in Portland 108-106 on Dec. 7 when Monta Ellis drilled a 21-footer at the buzzer. But encouragement turned into discontent on Jan. 18 when the Blazers blasted the Mavs in Dallas 127-111 in a game Portland led by 38 points with 9:43 to go. ... This is a two-game homestand for the Mavs, who host Indiana on Sunday.
— Dwain Price