Mavericks 111, Trail Blazers 91
DALLAS (AP)—The Dallas Mavericks are trying to improve their playoff position before they go on the road.
Antoine Walker had 25 points and eight rebounds, Steve Nash added 22 points and 11 assists and the Mavericks extended their home winning streak to seven games with a 111-91 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.
Dirk Nowitzki contributed 21 points and seven rebounds to help Dallas to its fifth straight win overall and improve to 27-4 at home this season.
Dallas has won the first four games of a five-game homestand that ends Tuesday night against Seattle.
“We’re a very confident team,” Walker said. “This is a very important homestand for us. We’ve got 11 games on the road next month. We’re jockeying for playoff position so this is the time of the year when we’ve got to jell.”
“Fatigue did play a part, but the way we played in the first half also contributed,” Portland coach Maurice Cheeks said.
After trailing at halftime by 18 points, the Trail Blazers made one last run in the fourth quarter, pulling as close as 84-77 with 8:59 left on Miles’ dunk.
But Dallas increased its lead to 92-79 with 6:20 left as Walker’s layup capped an 8-2 spurt. Portland never got closer than 10 the rest of the way.
“We did a good job of battling back and weathering (Portland’s run),” Nash said. “We were able to pick it up at the end and that’s a good sign.”
The Mavericks led by as many as 22 (70-48) early in the third quarter before the Trail Blazers fought back with a 22-6 run. Miles had eight points during the stretch, reducing the deficit to 76-70.
“We were able to climb back in the game, but we used too much energy to do that,” Cheeks said.
Dallas took an 80-70 lead into the fourth quarter after a 14-point third quarter.
The Mavericks shot 56.5 percent in the first half and held a 66-48 halftime edge. Walker had 15 points in the first half and Nash added 14, helping Dallas to a lead as large as 20 points.
Anderson and Abdur-Rahim received technical fouls in the second quarter while Dallas was scoring 39 points.
Anderson picked up his technical for pushing Nowitzki after Anderson had been called for a personal on Nowitzki’s drive. Anderson caught an accidental elbow from Nowitzki on his way to the basket.
“I guess I hit him in the face and I didn’t mean to,” Nowitzki said. “It was nothing, just a misunderstanding.”
Dallas outscored Portland in the paint, 50-42, and outscored the Blazers onthe fast break, 25-10.
Mavericks rookie F Josh Howard missed the game due to a strained right groin. … Portland lost three of the four meetings with Dallas this season. … Tampa Bay receiver Keyshawn Johnson watched the game with several Dallas Cowboys. Dallas is considering a trade for Johnson. … Dallas is 14-3 when Walker scores 20 or more points. … All five Mavericks starters scored in double figures. Dallas is 11-1 this season when that happens. … Randolph hadhis 35th double-double.