The Dallas Mavericks will head up to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center tonight.
According to Nicolino DiBenedetto of STATS LLC, LaMarcus Aldridge and the Trail Blazers will attempt to avenge their defeat against the Mavericks (40-22) last month. They will face a Dallas team who may place Chandler Parsons and Tyson Chandler back in rotation.
"The Trail Blazers weren't as fortunate at Dallas on Feb. 7, blowing an 11-point lead in the final two minutes of regulation and getting outscored 15-5 in overtime of a 111-101 loss," DiBenedetto wrote. "Aldridge had 25 points and 14 rebounds and Damian Lillard scored 26 but missed 12 of 19 from the field."
DiBenedetto added that Portland (40-19) has averaged 108.5 points during a four-game winning streak, with Aldridge contributing 28 and 13.3 rebounds in the last three games.
"The most important thing was that we played the type of basketball we needed to down the stretch to win the game, and I still found a way to impact the game," Lillard said.
According to Brian Brennan of Rant Sports, Portland managed to score a huge overtime win against the Los Angeles Clippers last night. Considering that Portland is third in the Western Conference while Dallas is sixth, the results of this game could be important down the line.
"[Nicolas] Batum stepped up in his place which is huge for the Trail Blazers, and it seems like the Arron Afflalo trade is working out nicely," Brennan wrote. "Portland looks to win their fifth straight tonight."
As for the Mavericks, they plan to rely on guard Rajon Rondo to be productive on the basketball court. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle shared a few comments about Rondo to STATS LLC.
"He's done a great job," Carlisle said. "Again, he's learning what it takes to play with our players and vice versa. We're on a path where we're going to figure it out."
Carlisle made a few predictions on what Rondo could achieve in tonight's game. DiBenedetto reported that Rondo missed the last matchup with Portland due to an Achilles injury.
"He's looking to be aggressive," Carlisle said about Rondo. "He's looking to make aggressive paint and rim attacks, and when he can finish it's great and when he draws one or two guys, he can find the right guy. That's where his special ability is."
Carlisle added that the Mavericks were "a strength-in-numbers type of team," which was a reference to their blowout 102-93 victory over New Orleans on Monday.
Brennan elaborated on the chances both teams had in winning tonight's game.
"Dallas may have a little advantage here even though they are on the road, because Portland is playing the second of a back-to-back with the first being an overtime game," Brennan wrote. "The Trail Blazers don't typically come out sluggish though, so I think the home-court advantage will be too much for Dallas."
Brennan predicted that the Trail Blazers could win the game, but he added it will "definitely be a tightly contested game."