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Preview: Trail Blazers Visit Dallas, Try To Take Control

  1. Written by: ShalamarClark  / avg. rating: 4.3

    The Portland Trail Blazers (2-2) and the Dallas Mavericks (2-2) are in a deadlock.

    The Trail Blazers fought back to even the series 2-2, but they will have to revisit Dallas, where they will try to take control of the series Monday at American Airlines Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 PM.

    After beat the Mavs twice at the Rose Garden, Portland bounced back from its 0-2 hole with two big efforts from Brandon Roy. 

    Roy, who came alive in the Game 3 win with 16 points, followed up with an even bigger performance.

    He scored 18 of his 24 points in the final period of Saturday’s 84-82 come-from-behind with to help lift the Trail Blazers over the Mavs after facing a 23-point deficit. 

    LaMarcus Aldridge scored 18 points, Gerald Wallace recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, Andre Miller had 14 points and Wesley Matthews added 11.

    Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas, which has now loss two straight, with 20 points, while Shawn Marion had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Jason Terry chipped in with 13 points off the bench.

    Momentum that the Mavs once possessed early in the series is now in the hands of the Trail Blazers. They know that if they can steal a win in Dallas on Monday, then they have a shot at closing out the first-round matchup back in Portland for Game 6.

    Dallas walks the same path.

    But after experiencing the effects of Portland’s home crowd, the Mavs will be trying to regroup themselves. 

    Both teams have yet to claim a win on the opposing team’s court. Portland looked to at least split the first two games of the series, but came up short on both occasions.

    In Dallas, Nowitzki is only shooting 38 percent from the floor, but has averaged 30.5 points in Game 1 and 2. He has been a frequent visitor at the free-throw line, taking 30 trips and converting 28.

    Terry has been a consistent producer for the Mavs, netting 10 points in his first two matchups and 15.5 points overall. Jason Kidd and Peja Stojakovic have been Dallas’ deep threat with Kidd hitting six threes in Game 1 for 24 points and Stojakovic following with five and 21 points in Game 2.

    The Trail Blazers will have to be solid from beyond the arc, similar to their Game 3 win, when Matthews connected on four deep ones in the first quarter and four other Portland players hit at least one to end with a 57-percent mark from long distance.  

    Aldridge, who’s averaging 22 points and six rebounds in four games, will need assistance from Roy, who is still looking for a breakout performance in Dallas after shooting 1-of-8 in the two losses.

    Hopefully Roy can make a turnaround like Matthews and Wallace did after combining for just 10 points in Game 1. Matthews and Wallace rebounded in Game 2, scoring 13 and 18 points respectively. 

    The Trail Blazers will be without Greg Oden and Elliot Williams, who are bout out with knee-related injuries.

    Watch the Trail Blazers in action on KGW NewsChannel 8 with Mike Barrett and Mike Rice, also listen to the live play-by-play from Brian Wheeler and Antonio Harvey on 95.5 FM The Game.

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