PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (15-10) AT MAVERICKS (13-14)
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: American Airlines Center, Dallas
TV: FSSW; ESPN
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM; Univision 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavericks: What a difference a week makes. Or in the Mavs’ case, five days. The Mavs woke up last Monday finding themselves in 14th place – that’s next-to-last – in the Western Conference standings. Three games and five days later, and suddenly the Mavs had made up five slots and went to bed Friday night sitting in the ninth slot out West. . .The Mavs have won five of their last six games, including their past four. It ties for the longest winning streak they’ve had this season. . .A win tonight would give the Mavs their best seven-game stretch of the season. . .Luka Doncic poured in a career-high 46 points and added eight rebounds and 12 assists during Friday’s 143-130 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. Kristaps Porzingis contributed 36 points and seven boards, and was 8-of-13 from 3-point territory. . .In the last 16 games, Doncic has scored or assisted for 52.1 ppg. The only player with a higher rate is the player he was traded for – Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young, who has scored or assisted for 53.5 ppg since Jan. 16. . .Doncic has scored at least 25 points in 13 straight games, tying him with Mark Aguirre and Dirk Nowitzki for the franchise record for the longest such streak. . .The Mavs are no longer last in the NBA in 3-point shooting. After converting a franchise-record 25 shots in 45 attempts from 3-point range in the win over the Pelicans, the Mavs have made 35 percent of their baskets from downtown this season. That puts them ahead of Cleveland (34.2 percent), Washington (34 percent) and Oklahoma City (33.7 percent), and ties them with Minnesota.
About the Trail Blazers: Portland is playing some very good basketball so far this season. The Trail Blazers have won three consecutive games, and tonight will be their fourth game in six days. All three wins occurred in Portland. The Blazers defeated the Orlando Magic, 106-97, this past Tuesday behind 36 points from Damian Lillard. On Thursday, Lillard scored 30 points and Carmelo Anthony came off the bench to pop in 24 points on 9-of-15 shots to lead the Blazers to a huge 118-114 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, who own the best record in the Eastern Conference at 18-9. On Friday, Gary Trent Jr. tallied 26 points as the Blazers tripped the Cleveland Cavaliers, 129-110. . .The Trail Blazers are fifth in the Western Conference and sits six games behind the red-hot Utah Jazz in the Northwest Division. . .Portland is 7-5 on the road, 6-6 in conference play and is averaging 115.2 ppg and allowing 115.1 ppg. . .Lillard is one of the most dangerous players in the entire NBA and is averaging 29 ppg and 7.2 apg, and shooting 37.8 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. He also is very dangerous when the game is on the line. . .CJ McCollum averages 26.7 ppg and 5.0 apg. But McCollum is sidelined with a fractured bone in his left foot. . .Trent is averaging 14.8 ppg and has made a whopping 45.1 percent of his 3-point shots. . .Anthony is scoring at a 13.5 ppg clip and is shooting 39.3 percent from downtown. . .Enes Kanter is a very solid big man who always creates havoc inside the paint. Kanter is averaging 11.5 ppg and 11.1 rpg, and a shooting a sizzling 59.4 percent from the field.
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