Blazers at Mavericks
Time: 6 p.m. CT
Place: American Airlines Center, Dallas
Radio: ESPN, 103.3 FM, Univision, 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavs: They are 2-0 for the first time since 2004-05, which also is that last time they were 3-0. They have done it with a sturdy defense that has limited the first two opponents to 42.9-percent shooting and just 31.7-percent from 3-point range in the small sample size … Luka Doncic has been nothing short of eye-popping in the first two games, averaging 29.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists after registering the ninth triple-double of his career on Friday at New Orleans … His able sidekick, Kristaps Porzingis, has has shot 50 percent from 3-point range (6-of-12) and has averaged 23.5 points in the first two outings … Delon Wright and Jalen Brunson also are averaging in double figures through two games … The Mavericks have won their last three home games against the Blazers, but don’t expect a blowout. Nine of the last 10 meetings have been decided by single digits … Coach Rick Carlisle has used the same 10 players in both games so far. Yet to get off the bench are Boban Marjanovic and J.J. Barea … Dwight Powell (strained left hamstring) is getting close to making his season debut. Carlisle has stressed that that the 6-10 Powell will not return until he’s 100-percent ready, but said Friday in New Orleans that Powell is close.
About the Blazers: They are 1-1 after a home loss to Denver and a road win at Sacramento … With center Jusuf Nurkic out, the Blazers are leaning heavily this season on newcomer Hassan Whiteside, who was acquired from Miami in the offseason for Mo Harkless and Meyers Leonard. So far, Whiteside has averaged 19 points and 14 rebounds and made 88-percent of his shots from the field … The Blazers’ anchor remains guard Damian Lillard, who is off to a phenomenal start averaging 33.5 points and 6.5 assists while shooting 53.7-percent. Last season, he averaged 32.4 points and 8 assists against the Mavericks … Lillard and C.J. McCollum ranked as the third-highest scoring backcourt tandem in the NBA last season at 46.8 points per game, behind only Houston’s Chris Paul/James Harden and Golden State’s Steph Curry/Klay Thompson … This is the second game in a four-game road trip that will continue Monday at San Antonio and Wednesday at Oklahoma City … One of the Blazers’ offseason acquisitions was Kent Bazemore, who averaged 27 points in two meetings with the Mavericks last season when he was with Atlanta.