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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Dallas Mavericks Preview

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Portland looks to build on their wins as they face Dallas again.

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NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Portland Trail Blazers Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers (25-16) vs. Dallas Mavericks (21-19)

The Portland Trail Blazers take on the Dallas Mavericks for the second time in a row at home in the Moda Center. In their last matchup, Portland prevailed 125-119 due to the performances of CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard. The Blazers have won three in a row as they look to beat the Mavericks once more.

Sunday, March 21 - 7:00 p.m. PT
How to watch on TV: NBCSNW, NBA League Pass or see games all season on fuboTV
Blazers injuries: Zach Collins (out), Jusuf Nurkic (out)
OPPONENT injuries: Willie Cauley-Stein (out) James Johnson (out), Tyrell Terry (questionable)
SBN Affiliate: Mavs Moneyball

What To Watch For

  • CJ’s Comeback. After playing in the last couple of games, CJ McCollum seems to have his groove back. Before his injury he was on track to have a record season. He seems to be picking up right where he left off, and sliding effortlessly right back into Portland’s rotation. Between McCollum and Damian Lillard, the Blazers backcourt has been on fire. I don’t see that stopping anytime soon.
  • Blazers’ Bench. In Friday’s game against Dallas, the Blazers bench outscored the Mavericks bench 34-25. While that doesn’t seem like a huge number, Portland won by only 6 points. In the past, the team has been very dependent on their starting lineup to score the majority of the points, but the Blazers bench has been really pulling their weight and adding to Portland’s offense.
  • Luka Doncic. Because Luka Doncic. I mean, do I need more explanation? The man is a force, and he’s been playing well. He played well in the last match-up against the Blazers, but the rest of the team just didn’t quite keep up. Say what you want about Luka — I know there’s some leftover resentment for a lot of Rip City after the All-Star vote — but he’s good. Really good.

What Others Are Saying

Kirk Henderson of Mavs Moneyball talks about the the Mavericks’ struggle with rebounds and how that impacted the last matchup against Portland:

The Mavericks consistently lose the rebounding battle every night. Enes Kanter single handled tied the entire Dallas offensive rebounding production by himself and in large part because he out worked the Mavericks. Kristaps Porzingis was one of the many Dallas bigs to underperform while rebounding; though he had eight total, he didnt record one past the 7:29 mark of the third quarter. He played twelve minutes without getting a finger on a rebound.

In an article for The Oregonian, Aaron Fentress quoted CJ McCollum after his great game against Dallas earlier this week:

“I got 23 shots up in 28 minutes,” McCollum said. “But I think for the most part, I had good balance, missed short a few times, I didn’t have any turnovers, and I think, defensively we did a pretty good job being active and I did what I was supposed to do.”