WHY THIS GAME MATTERS
Tuesday's game between Portland and Dallas will be a clash of two teams who currently sit in the final playoff positions in the Western Conference. The Trail Blazers are now 13-10 after getting out to a quick start this season, winning six of their first eight games. The Mavericks hold an 11-12 record after a recent spurt of wins. In its last 10 games, Dallas has lost just twice.
Trail Blazers looking for answers on the defensive end
Sunday night marked the first game of the Blazers’ current two-game road trip as San Antonio shot lights out and claimed a 131-118 victory. Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard led all scorers with 37 points, but the Spurs as team shot 60.2 percent from the floor and a whopping 73.3 percent from three-point range after hitting 11-of-15. Over the last 10 games, Portland has held a defensive rating of 118.2, which has been a league worst. It's time for the Blazers to get things together on the defensive end.
That’s what happens in the West
After Sunday night’s loss, the Blazers discussed how there will be nights in the West like Sunday’s game where teams score over 130 points and that’s just how the league is going these days. But in order to stay competitive in this deep Western Conference, the Blazers will need to get back to slowing teams down offensively or Portland could see Dallas pass them in the standings very soon. While the Blazers have struggled defensively, it’s the opposite for the Mavs. Dallas ranks third in the NBA with giving up only 101.8 points per 100 possessions in their last 10 games.
Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes coming off season-high
It was a big night for Dallas forward Harrison Barnes on Sunday. Barnes scored a season-high 30 points after hitting 11-of-28 field goals, including 3-of-9 from 3-pointers and 5-of-5 from the charity stripe. He also recorded 9 rebounds, one assist, and one block in the Mavs 114-110 road win over the Clippers. Barnes saw extended minutes with Luka Doncic out with a hip injury. Barnes has now put up at least 28 points in three of the past five games.
The Trail Blazers have listed Evan Turner (left Achilles) as probable for Tuesday's game vs. Dallas.
For the Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki (ankle) is out, Maxi Kleber (knee) is questionable, and Luka Doncic (right hip) is probable for Tuesday’s game.
Dwight Jaynes: Despite offensive spark, Trail Blazers' defense gets worse in loss to San Antonio Spurs
Jamie Hudson: The latest on Evan Turner's lingering Achilles issue
Where to Watch: NBC Sports Northwest, MyTeams app
Tip-Off Time: 5:30 p.m.
NBCS NW Coverage: Blazers Outsiders Pregame Show (4:30 p.m.), Blazers Outsiders Postgame Show (immediately after the game)
Point Spread: Pick 'em
Radio: 620AM Rip City Radio
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