The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA tips for a Western Conference duel between Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks.
13:00 (AEDT), Sat 20th Mar @ Moda Center, Portland
History: Played 182: Trail Blazers 98 V Mavericks 84
Last meeting: February 14, 2021: Trail Blazers 121 d Mavericks 118 at American Airlines Arena
Final Thoughts: Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks are striving to keep pace with the Western Conference front-runners, but both teams bring some decent momentum in this Moda Center clash, which pits two of the league’s hottest offensive spearheads – Damian Lillard and Luka Doncic – against one another.
The 24-16 Trail Blazers are sixth in the West, winning six of their eight games in March. They dropped two of their first three out of the All-Star break but have won their last two – both against the Pelicans, 125-124 and 101-93.
Lillard scored 50 points as Portland engineered a stunning comeback from 17 points down with six minutes left in the first encounter with New Orleans. ‘Dame’ backed up with 36 points and 6 assists in yesterday’s encounter.
The pair of victories coincided with CJ McCollum’s return from a two-month layoff. The Blazers should only get better as the star guard returns to his best.
The 21-18 Mavericks have climbed to eighth via eight wins in their last 11 games. After going down to the Clippers 109-99, they turned the tables on the same opponent with a 105-89 win two days ago.
MVP contender Doncic went off for 42 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists.
The teams met last month, with the Blazers holding off a Mavericks fourth-quarter rally to win 121-118.
Damian Lillard finished with 34 points and 11 assists, while five other Portland players scored 12-plus points. Luka Doncic’s mammoth effort of 44 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists was in vain for the Mavs.
The Trail Blazers are 13-7 at home this season (8-12 ATS); the Mavericks are 10-9 on the road overall and ATS. I’m taking the Blazers with the points in their own backyard.
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