Mavs hope to stay alive in postseason hunt, visit Blazers

9:51 AM, Apr 7, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The Dallas Mavericks are still alive in the postseason race. The same can not be said for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Dallas and Portland will square off Sunday at the Rose Garden.

The Mavericks have six games left on the slate and are three games behind in the race for the eighth and final postseason berth in the West. Utah is only one-half game off the pace.

Dallas ended a two-game slide and won for the fifth time in eight tries with Friday's 117-108 victory at Sacramento. Shawn Marion scored a team-high 25 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, while Brandan Wright and Darren Collison added 20 and 18 points off the bench, respectively, for the Mavs, who are 1-2 on a four-game road trip and 15-24 outside of Big D.

"Our balance was good, we shared the ball well, and for us we rebounded well, so that was key," said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 16 points in the win.

The Mavs will return home for two games versus Phoenix and Denver. In injury news for Dallas, forward Elton Brand (calf) is questionable against Portland. Brand has missed two straight games and is averaging 7.4 points and 6.1 boards this season.

Portland will resume its final homestand of the season Sunday and is winless (0-2) so far on the residency.

The Trail Blazers suffered their seventh straight loss overall with Friday's 116-98 defeat at the hands of the Houston Rockets. LaMarcus Aldridge returned from a four-game layoff due to an ankle injury and registered 32 points and 13 rebounds. Wesley Matthews scored 18 and rookie Damian Lillard had 11 points with seven assists.

"We need to check our hearts at the door," Matthews said after Portland's fourth loss in a row at home. "We have six games left, we just lost seven. We're better than that."

Lillard leads all rookies in scoring (18.9 ppg) and assists (6.5 apg). Portland forward Nicolas Batum sat for a second straight game with a labral tear in his shoulder and is out indefinitely. He is averaging 14.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.9 assists this season.

Portland, which is 22-15 at home and will also host the Lakers and Thunder, is 1-2 against Dallas this season. The Mavericks, though, have lost three of four and four of their last six trips to the Rose City.

The Sports Network

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