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Dirk Nowitzki scores 22, Mavericks sneak by Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers turned it over on 19 possessions and only totaled 17 assists in a disappointing performance in which they were edged by the Dallas Mavericks, 103-98. This snaps a three-game losing streak for Dallas (37-26).

Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points on 8-19 shooting from the field and 6-7 from the free throw line. Monta Ellis chipped in 17 points and 8 rebounds for Dallas as well. LaMarcus Aldridge had another strong performance for Portland in the loss, putting up 30 points on 13-28 shooting from the field and 4-6 from the free throw line. Wesley Matthews added 26 points and 6 rebounds and Thomas Robinson finished with 11 points and 9 rebounds.

As expected, Dallas, ranked fourth in the NBA at avoiding errors (TO% of 13.5%) protected the ball well in this contest. Meanwhile, the defense of Portland continues to struggle forcing turnovers, with their opponents surrendering the second-fewest turnovers in the league (13.1%). The Trail Blazers had 17 assists against 19 turnovers for a ratio of .89. This year, they are 1-1 when having more turnovers than assists in a game. Conversely, the Mavericks are 5-2 when holding their opponents below an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.00.

This drops Portland (42-20) to 1-2 versus Dallas on the season.

Coming up, the Mavericks square off with the Indiana Pacers, who are 46-16 on the season. The Trail Blazers meet the Houston Rockets, currently sitting at 43-19 this year. The Mavericks are 1-0 versus Indiana this season. The Trail Blazers have come up empty in two of their last three games against Houston.

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