The two sides faced off in the first contest of a two-game mini-series on Friday, where CJ McCollum showed off his offensive prowess (32 points, 7 three-pointers), bringing home the win for the embattled Portland Trail Blazers. CJ's backcourt partner and top MVP candidate Damian Lillard was his illustrious self, dropping 31 points in 34 minutes from the floor while Melo sparked a light off the bench with 18 points.
For the Dallas Mavericks, it was the usual suspect Luka Doncic who tallied a near triple-double with 38 points, nine assists, and as many rebounds for their 19th loss of the campaign. Kristaps Porzingis had a slow night (11 points) while Tim Hardaway Jr. picked up the slack on offense with 25 points in 40 minutes from the floor.
The Portland Trail Blazers now seek a three-game sweep of the Dallas Mavericks as the players take center stage at the Moda Center tonight.
How to watch the Dallas Mavericks vs Portland Trail Blazers game?
Time: 10:00 PM (Eastern Time); 7:30 AM (Indian Standard Time).
Venue: Moda Center, Portland, OR
Live stream: NBA League Pass
Dallas Mavericks: Team News
The Dallas Mavericks possess a high-octane offense that can take down any team in the association but continues to be unpredictable. Luka Doncic and co. gave fans an exciting shootout between two enigmatic teams in the West. But after posting three strong quarters, the Dallas Mavericks went cold in the fourth, only managing to put up 21 points in answer to Portland's 32 points in the final 12 minutes of the game.
The biggest storyline playing out for the Dallas Mavericks this season is the shortcomings of Kristaps Porzingis, who despite showing a lot of promise has largely been a disappointment. For the team to bounce back in the final game of the mini-series, KP will have to find his groove and help Luka Doncic shoulder the team against a Portland Trail Blazers squad that is firing on all cylinders.
On the injury report, the Dallas Mavericks have listed their center Willie Cauley-Stein, who will be out due to the league's stringent health and safety protocols. They could be without him for an extended period with no clarity on his return just yet. Tyrell Terry, who was out for Sunday's contest, is being monitored on a day-to-day basis while James Johnson remains out for personal reasons.
Portland Trail Blazers: Team News
The Portland Trail Blazers are looking scary good with CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard combining for 63 points to surge past the Dallas Mavericks. The duo caught fire in the fourth quarter as Terry Stotts registered the 500th win of his coaching career. The Portland Trail Blazers are now tied for 5th place in the West, alongside the Denver Nuggets with a 25-16 record.
The Blazers have done an exceptional job in staying above .600 on the season, considering their injury woes. Dame Dolla has a great crew backing him this campaign and the team looks primed to make a deep playoff run later in the year. In 40 games, Lillard has averaged a mind-blowing 30.6 points on a 45.6% shooting display. He is shooting 38.9% from the deep and 93.9% from the free-throw line.
On the injury report, the Portland Trail Blazers await their star-caliber center, Jusuf Nurkic, to make his return to the NBA hardwood. Several reports indicate the Bosnian baller could be back in the next two weeks. The team's return to full fitness should ease responsibilities off Dame's shoulders. Meanwhile, Zach Collins remains out for the season due to a severe injury to his left ankle.