APRIL. 13, 2011; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers power forward J.J. Hickson (21) , Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) and power forward Brandan Wright (34) battle for a loose ball during the fourth quarter of the game at the Rose Garden. The Mavericks won the game 97-94. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-US PRESSWIRE

Mavericks Vs. Blazers: Dallas Narrowly Wins 97-94

The Mavericks once again had trouble closing out a road game against a below-.500 team with nothing to play for, nearly losing a 20-point lead in Portland.

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Mavericks Vs. Blazers Halftime Score: Dallas Leading Portland, 56-41

The Dallas Mavericks are without point guard Jason Kidd who is sitting out a scheduled rest night, and the Mavericks are doing just fine without Kidd as they lead the Portland Trail Blazers 56-41 at the half. The Mavericks got off to a fast start in the first quarter by going on a 15-4 run, and they have not trailed once.

The defense for the Mavericks has shut down the Blazers offense and is holding them to 38 percent shooting and only 3-of-12 from three-point range. Nicolas Batum is leading the way for the Blazers with 14 points and is the only Portland player shooting at least 50 percent at 5-of-8.

For the Mavericks they are being led by Dirk Nowitzki who has 17 points and Brandan Wright has come off the bench and has scored 11 points and pulled down eight rebounds.

For more on the Dallas Mavericks, visit Mavs Moneyball. Blazers news and info can be found at Blazer's Edge, and all your NBA news is at SB Nation's NBA page.

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Mavericks Vs. Blazers: Game Preview, TV Info And More

Dallas starts a four-game road trip in Portland, where they'll miss facing Mavs-killer LaMarcus Aldridge.

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