Mavericks 99, Trail Blazers 74
DALLAS (AP)—Although both Portland and Dallas were playing for the second straight night, the Mavericks had a lot more energy than the Trail Blazers.
“You’re fatigued, you’re tired, but that’s life in the NBA,” Terry said. “We don’t like excuses around here.”
Dallas was a 108-105 winner in Utah on Tuesday night and improved to 9-0 in the second game of back-to-back situations. Portland lost at San Antonio 98-84 on Tuesday night and fell to 4-6 in the second game of back-to-backs.
“It was like an AAU game where you play, get some food and get some sleep, and then get back out there and play again,” Howard said.
The Mavericks extended their winning streak against the Blazers to 12 games, matching the longest in the series.
“This is a game where we should come out and take care of business and win,” Dallas’ Jerry Stackhouse said. “We don’t look at this as a game we should lose since we’re a veteran team and they’re so young.”
The Mavericks’ leading scorer and rebounder Dirk Nowitzki, who had a season-high 38 points against Utah on Tuesday night, played only 25 minutes and finished with 11 points. Nowitzki took only six shots and sat out the fourth quarter.
Dallas went 10-for-16 from beyond the 3-point arc, including 3-of-4 from Terry and Howard.
Rookie LaMarcus Aldridge, who played high school basketball in the Dallas suburb of Seagoville and starred at the University of Texas, added 14 points for Portland.
The Mavericks consistently double-teamed Randolph in the post, and he passed the ball to teammates who were free on the wings. But the Blazers had trouble hitting open jumpers, going 0-for-11 from 3-point range and 28-for-71 from the field.
“We’ve seen double-teams on Zach all year long,” Portland coach Nate McMillan said. “He was passing the ball out the way he’s supposed to, but we’ve got to start making those open shots.”
Terry, who had 12 first-half points, led a decisive 14-0 second-quarter run with a 3-pointer and a three-point play as the Mavericks expanded their lead to 44-28 with 3:28 left until halftime.
The score was tied at 22 after the first quarter, but Dallas held a 47-34 advantage at the break with the help of 5-for-17 second-quarter shooting by the Blazers.
Portland pulled to 55-43 early in the third quarter, but Howard connected on consecutive 3-pointers to push Dallas’ lead to 61-43.
Dallas stepped up its defensive intensity in the second quarter.
“This was our typical defensive performance,” Howard said. “We hold ourselves accountable on both ends of the floor.”
Portland’s previous low for points was 81, three times this season, most recently against New York last Wednesday. … Donnie Nelson, Mavericks president of basketball operations/general manager, has expressed interest in Philadelphia 76ers F Chris Webber, who accepted a buyout from the Sixers and becomes a free agent. Dallas coach Avery Johnson played with Webber on Golden State. “Obviously, he’s not the same player he was, but he’s still a very good passer and ball mover,” Johnson said. “I played with him when he was Rookie of the Year. But we don’t want to go down that route right now. We’ll let it run its course and see what happens.” … Aldridge had 35 family and friends in attendance. … Dallas backup C DJ Mbenga got a bloody nose in the fourth quarter when he was elbowed in the face by Portland’s Juan Dixon. No foul was called.