The Dallas Mavericks didn’t stay out of the win column very long.
Dallas seeks its 10th straight home victory and its 12th consecutive win against the Portland Trail Blazers at American Airlines Center on Wednesday.
A poor defensive fourth quarter cost the Mavericks (28-8) as their 13-game win streak was snapped Sunday with a 101-98 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
League-leading Dallas, though, bounced back quickly, getting a season-high 38 points, including two free throws with 10.2 seconds remaining, from Dirk Nowitzki in a 108-105 victory Tuesday at Utah.
“I think in the second half we turned it around a little bit,” Nowitzki said. “In this building they play so hard, you have to match their physical contact and I think we try to get to basket, get to foul line, guys did a great job in the second half.”
Nowitzki is averaging 30.8 points and 10.0 rebounds while shooting 54.0 percent (54-of-100) from the field in his last five games.
“I was able to find some open looks,” Nowitzki said. “There will be some nights where the basket is a little bigger and you feel great about yourself.”
Although their win streak came to an end, the Mavericks still performed well on a difficult three-game road trip. They beat San Antonio, which owns the league’s third-best record, lost to the Lakers before handing the Northwest Division-leading Jazz only their third home loss of the season.
“It was a tough physical game. Both teams were playing some hungry basketball,” Dallas coach Avery Johnson said. “I like the way our team hung in there through a lot of adversity.”
Most encouraging for Dallas was the performance of guard Jason Terry, who scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and finished 7-of-12 from the field. Terry had been limited to 21 total points on 8-of-27 shooting in his three previous games.
Nowitzki tallied 26 points and 10 rebounds as the Mavs made it 11 straight wins over the Trail Blazers with a 103-96 road victory on Nov. 12. Portland’s last win in the series came on Dec. 23, 2003.
The Trail Blazers (14-22) were no match for the Spurs Tuesday, committing 19 turnovers that lead to 28 points in a 98-84 loss. Zach Randolph led Portland with 25 points and rookie LaMarcus Aldridge had a season-high 17 on 6-of-8 shooting.
“We didn’t look like we belonged here,” Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. “We made a lot of mistakes with the ball.”
It was the sixth loss in seven games for Portland with its only victory in that span coming in overtime Saturday at Sacramento.
Aldridge, who has scored in double figures in back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 5-6, said he learned a lesson from the Spurs.
“Being a veteran team, even when things got tough for them, they stay together,” he said. “When things get tough for us, we tend to separate and do things on our own.”
While Aldridge had a strong game, fellow first-year player Brandon Roy struggled. Roy, the NBA rookie scoring leader, managed only 10 points - his lowest total in eight games - on 3-of-12 from the field.