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Mavs Lose Again, Fall 104-96 To Portland

Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Gerald Wallace scored 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting and LaMarcus Aldridge netted 18, as the Portland Trail Blazers upended the Dallas Mavericks, 104-96, in a potential Western Conference playoff preview.

The Blazers, currently the No. 6 seed in the West, connected on 53 percent of their shots from the field to win going away against Dallas, which is third in conference standings.

Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum were two of six Blazers to finish in double figures, donating 16 and 15 points, respectively, in the club's fifth win in seven games.

"We had some pretty good ball movement and we made good decisions with our matchups when we had them," said Blazers head coach Nate McMillan.

Shawn Marion scored 19 points, Rodrigue Beaubois had 18 and Dirk Nowitzki added 16 for the Mavs, who finished their longest road trip of the season at 3-3, losing their final three tilts.

"I think the bottom line is we need consistency defensively," said Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle.

Dallas' loss, coupled with the Spurs' win over Phoenix, clinched the Southwest Division title for San Antonio.

Aldridge scored 10 points in the first quarter to pace the Blazers to a 23-17 lead.

The Blazers ended the opening half on a 13-4 run -- with seven points coming from the foul line -- and took a 61-46 cushion into the locker room.

Andre Miller buried a pull-up jumper for a 72-52 lead near the midway point of the third, and Portland answered Dallas' 11-2 run with a nine-point flurry later in the frame.

Rudy Fernandez's baseline slam made it 85-65 in the final minute before Nowitzki's deep jumper beat the buzzer for an 85-67 game.

The Mavs, however, never cut their deficit to single digits in the final 12 minutes.

Game Notes

The teams split the season series, with each winning twice on their home court...Mavericks center Tyson Chandler did not play because of a sore lower back...Portland has won eight straight at Rose Garden...Fernandez ended with 11 points and Miller wound up with 10 to round out Portland's double-digit scorers...Jason Kidd was held scoreless in over 27 minutes.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.