The NBA regular season is quickly coming to a close, and there is a possible playoff preview on Tuesday’s schedule
Dallas (47-19 straight up, 35-29-2 against the spread) is currently the second seed in the Western Conference, and visits a Portland squad (37-29 SU, 32-31-3 ATS) that ranks seventh. These two teams would meet in the first round of the playoffs if the regular season ended today.
Dallas is searching for some consistency after alternating SU wins and losses its last six games. The Mavericks continued that trend with Saturday’s setback to the Los Angeles Lakers as a one-point home underdog, 96-91. The combined 187 points failed to topple the 194-point closing total. Dallas is now just 1-5 ATS its past six games.
The Mavericks finished the contest with advantages in rebounding (48-43) and assists (21-20), but they trailed the Lakers in points in the paint (56-38). Dallas finished the game by shooting 43 percent (37-of-86) from the field, and 25 percent (4-of-16) from behind the arc.
Small forward Shawn Marion accounted for 25 points and 12 rebounds in the loss, while power forward Dirk Nowitzki had 25, 10 and six assists. Shooting guard Jason Terry was the only other player to reach double digits in scoring with 13.
Portland enters this contest mired in a two-game SU and ATS losing streak to conclude a four-game East Coast road trip. The Trail Blazers fell to Atlanta Saturday as one-point road ‘chalk,’ 91-82, while the combined 173 points went ‘under’ the 181-point closing total. The ‘over’ had cashed the previous two outings.
The Blazers were in control of the game before getting outscored in the third period, 27-16. Portland trailed the Hawks in rebounding (40-34) and points in the paint (56-28), and finished the game by shooting 35 percent (27-of-77) from the field and 32 percent (7-of-22) from 3-point land.
Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge posted 22 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the setback, while guard Wesley Matthews had 19. Guard Brandon Roy provided 16, while forward Gerald Wallace had five and 12.
Dallas has won both home matchups this season with Portland SU, while splitting ATS. The Mavericks prevailed Dec. 15 as a 6 ½-point home favorite, 103-98, and Jan. 4 as 2 ½-point home ‘chalk,’ 84-81.
The ‘under’ is 5-2 the previous seven games in this series. The underdog is 10-4 ATS the last 14 matchups between these teams.
Dallas forward Peja Stojakovic (back injury) is ‘doubtful’ versus the Trail Blazers. The Mavericks conclude a brief two-day, two-game West Coast road trip with Wednesday’s game at Golden State. Dallas has seen the ‘over’ go 9-3 its last 12 road games.
Portland forward Nicolas Batum (ankle) is ‘questionable’ against the Mavericks. The Trail Blazers continue a three-game homestand against Cleveland and Philadelphia. Portland has seen the ‘under’ go 7-3 the past 10 matchups versus Southwest Division opponents.
Tuesday’s contest is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. PT from Portland’s Rose Garden.