Finished TV: NBCSWA | FSN American Airlines Center Dallas
The Portland Trail Blazers feature two of the better 3-point shooters in the NBA in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum but getting into the paint might be more beneficial to the team on Sunday. The Trail Blazers will try to take advantage of an opponent's suspect interior defense when they visit the Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavericks put up little resistance on the inside on Friday at home against the Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks and ended up with a 122-107 setback, ending the team's hopes of reaching .500 before the All-Star break. "We just did not put up enough resistance and they're a great team," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle told reporters. "When you give up 80 points in the paint, which by the way if that's not an NBA record, I can't imagine a game where someone scored more than 80 points in the paint - but maybe they did. They're extremely well coached, (Giannis) Antetokounmpo is a great player, but 80 points in the paint is ridiculous. It's just ridiculous." Portland scored 62 points in the paint in a 127-118 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday and shot 53.8 percent from the floor in improving to 23-8 at home. The Trail Blazers, who are 10-13 on the road, will play their next two away from home before heading into the All-Star break with a home date against the West-leading Golden State Warriors.
TV: 3 p.m. ET, NBCS Northwest (Portland), FS Southwest (Dallas)
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (33-21): Portland added some depth at the trade deadline by acquiring shooting guard Rodney Hood from the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he fit in well in his team debut. Hood scored 14 points in 25 minutes off the bench while going 6-7 from the floor - 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. "He had a good rhythm," Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts told reporters of Hood. "I think he took the shots that were there. He just played the game. It wasn't like he was trying to force it, he wasn't trying to shy away from anything, I thought he just played the game. Defensively, he picked up our switching and took the individual challenge when he was there. Just a good, solid game at both ends."
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (25-29): The results of Dallas' big move in front of the deadline won't truly be felt until Kristaps Porzingis is able to get back on the court next season following knee surgery, but some of the other pieces from the deal are settling in. Point guard Trey Burke came off the bench on Friday and collected 18 points, five rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals in 27 minutes. "I was pretty comfortable," Burke said. "Coach just told me to be aggressive. I think it started when we started getting stops. When we got stops, we got out in transition and got some easy buckets. First and foremost, we got to get stops, and I don't think we got enough tonight."
1. The Mavericks waived veteran PF Zach Randolph on Friday after acquiring him from the Sacramento Kings the previous day.
2. Lillard is 2-of-17 from 3-point range over the last two games.
3. Dallas earned a 111-102 home win over Portland on Dec. 4 despite 33 points from Lillard.
PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 113, Mavericks 108 Bet Now
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