The Portland Trail Blazers (25-16) and Dallas Mavericks (21-19) will wrap-up their two-game series Sunday at Moda Center.
Sunday’s contest against Dallas will be the final matchup between the two this season.
Portland leads the season series, 2-0.
Friday, the Trail Blazers defeated the Mavericks, 125-119 in Portland behind CJ McCollum’s impressive 32 points on 11-of-23 shooting including, 7-of-13 from three to go along with his four rebounds and four assists in just 28 minutes of work. Damian Lillard added 31 points.
The Blazers All-Star point guard now has a league-leading 25 games with at least 30 points this season.
In yet another meeting of the two superstars, Lillard is second in the NBA in scoring, averaging 30.6 points per game, while Luka Doncic is sixth in the league averaging 28.8.
Jusuf Nurkic (right wrist fracture) and Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) are out for Sunday’s contest.
For the Mavericks, Willie Cauley-Stein (health and safety protocols), James Johnson (health and safety protocols) and Tyrell Terry (personal reasons) are out.
Following Thursday’s game, our Trail Blazers Insider Dwight Jaynes explained how Portland used 63 points from its backcourt to overcome hot-shooting Mavericks:
The Blazer backcourt is well, BACK. At least it appeared that way Friday night.
CJ McCollum, seemingly back to his old hot-shooting self, and Damian Lillard proved too much for the Dallas Mavericks in Moda Center.
The ending of the 125-119 win was like a win in the pre-pandemic era – the fake fans dressed as cardboard cutouts in the stands were at their loudest volume of the season and for the first time this year, the streamers were released from the ceiling onto the covered end-zone seats.
And it was a fun game packed full of offense. Dallas actually outshot the Trail Blazers from the field, but Portland hit three more three-point field goals that made the final difference.
The Mavericks shot well from distance until the fourth quarter, when they began missing a lot of the same shots they had been making all night. Shooting 51.6 percent from three through three quarters, they made just 3 of 11 in the final period.
Was it the Trail Blazer defense? Maybe. But whatever, they missed them and Portland was able to take charge of the game down the stretch.
“I thought, individually, we did a good job on the ball,” said Terry Stotts, who collected his 500th NBA win. “We rebounded the ball. I thought we had activity… It seemed like when we did get stops, they didn't get a second chance.
“So, to hold a team like that to 21 in the fourth when they got a couple baskets there in the last 10 seconds or so, there was a lot to like from a lot of different people.
“DJ made a lot of plays. When Robert got his fifth foul, he made some good plays, Rodney did a nice job of rebounding and getting his hands on some balls. It was just, again, when you play good defense, it's usually team defense, and that's what it was.”
McCollum looked like the CJ McCollum prior to his foot injury. He led his team with 32 points, one more than Lillard, and hit 7 of 13 from behind the arc.
Read more here.
The Blazers are +2 point underdogs against the Mavs, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
Here’s what you need to know about Sunday’s matchup –
Damian Lillard has scored at least 28 points in each of his last 14 games against the Mavericks, including tying a career-high with 61 points on Aug. 11, 2020 in Orlando.
Carmelo Anthony recorded 18 points (6-11 FG, 3-5 3-PT, 3-4 FT) and pulled down four rebounds against Dallas on March 19.
With his 38 points against Portland on March 19, Luka Doncic has now scored 294 career points against the Trail Blazers over 10 games. It's his highest point total against any NBA team.
Tim Hardaway Jr. had 25 points (9-14 FG, 7-11 3-PT), five rebounds and five assists against Portland on March 19. It was his seventh career game with 25p/5r/5a, and first such game in a Mavericks uniform.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: +2 (-110) – Mavericks: -2 (-110)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Sunday, March 21
Where: Moda Center | Portland, Oregon
Start time: 7:00 p.m. PT
TV channel: NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers
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