DALLAS MAVERICKS (19-25)
at PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (22-22)
Tip-off: Tuesday, 10:05 p.m. ET
Line: Portland -3, Total: 202
Surging Dallas, 6-2 SU in its past eight games, is looking to tighten the gap in the Western Conference with a win at Portland on Tuesday night.
The Mavericks are coming off a 15-point blowout over the Suns on Sunday, while the Blazers lost their last game to a Chris Paul-less Clippers team that same night, 96-83. Dallas is now 8-1 ATS in its past nine games. The Mavericks have won five of the past six meetings between these clubs including a 114-91 home win on Nov. 5. This was a routing by all accounts, but both teams are more polished than they were in the beginning of the season, and the Blazers are a much better home team (15-8 SU) than they are away (7-14 SU). Portland is also 4-2 SU over the Mavericks in games played in Portland over the past three seasons.
Which Western Conference team will improve its standing on Tuesday night? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. For NBA Totals, the experts are a stellar 14-3 (82%) in the past four days with StatFox Brian a perfect 4-0 and StatFox Gary going 7-1 since Friday. StatFox Scott is also 12-7 (63%) since Jan. 15, boosting his impressive season NBA Totals record to 65-47 (58%). For Best Bets, Scott is 4-3 ATS (57%) in the past five days to boost his season Best Bets mark to 53% ATS (64-58-1). Brian is at 51.1% ATS (69-66-3) while Gary is an even 50% ATS for the season. StatFox Dave is 7-6 ATS (54%) since Friday.
The Mavericks are coming off of a big win over the Suns, 110-95 on Sunday, as they looked great from the top of their lineup to the bottom, shooting 51% FG, 46% threes and 83% free throws. SF Shawn Marion led the way for the Mavericks with 18 points, nine rebounds (five offensive) and five assists. SG Vince Carter provided a huge spark off the bench for the Mavs with 15 points, three steals and a game-high +24 rating. PF Dirk Nowitzki had another strong game with 18 points (7-of-14 FG) and seven rebounds, and is now averaging 16.4 PPG and 7.0 RPG over the last five games. He is still struggling to find his shot however as he is shooting just 41.5% from the field on the season, compared to 47.4% in his career. His lift from his legs should improve as his knee continues to get better following offseason surgery. SG O.J. Mayo failed to score in double-figures for the first time all month, but he was outstanding in the November meeting with Portland, scoring 32 points (12-of-18 FG, 6-of-8 threes) in the 114-91 victory.
The Blazers just lost on the road to the Clippers without their star PG Chris Paul, but they have an opportunity to bounce back with another game at home. PF LaMarcus Aldridge was recently named an All-Star for the Blazers thanks to his 20.5 PPG and 8.8 RPG. He is on a tear recently, with 21.6 PPG (52% FG) and 9.8 RPG in his past eight games. This includes his 21 points (9-of-14 FG) and 11 rebounds in the loss to the Clippers. SF Nicolas Batum (16.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 4.9 APG) has been playing extremely well for the Blazers with 12.5 PPG, 9.8 APG and 7.8 RPG in the past four games. He has been passing so well that the Blazers basically have two point men on the floor at all times between he and PG Damian Lillard. The rookie Lillard is amidst one of his most consistent scoring stretches of his brilliant first year. Over the past five contests, Lillard is averaging 20.0 PPG and 6.0 APG. This Blazers team is dangerous, it just needs to start manifesting itself when taking the road as well.