Saturday , Apr , 07 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Mavs try to lasso win over Blazers

(Sports Network) – The Southwest Division-champion Dallas Mavericks have hit a
snag and will try to right the ship tonight in the opener of a short two-game
homestand versus the Portland Trail Blazers at American Airlines Center.

Dallas has lost two of its last three games after ripping off nine straight
win. In Friday’s 75-71 setback to the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center, Dirk
Nowitzki returned from a bout of food poisoning to score 22 points and pull
down 11 rebounds for the Mavericks, who remain on top of the Western
Conference with a comfortable lead.

Jason Terry chipped in 13 points, while Erick Dampier had 11 points and 13
boards in a losing cause.

The playoff-bound Mavericks have won three straight at home and will also host
the Los Angeles Clippers at American Airlines Center, where they are 33-4 this
season. In injury news for Dallas, guard Josh Howard (ankle) is questionable
for Saturday’s game against Portland. Howard went down with a sprain last
night versus Denver.

The Blazers, meanwhile, have won two in a row and will resume their three-game
road trip in Dallas. On Friday Portland notched an 85-78 win over the Houston
Rockets in the opener of the trip at the Toyota Center.

Rookie of the Year candidate Brandon Roy recorded a game-high 24 points and
Jarrett Jack added 23 points for Portland, which won its second straight
outing following a four-game slide.

Portland will also visit San Antonio on the trip and is 14-23 away from the
Rose Garden this season. It is also 6 1/2 games off the final playoff spot in
the Western Conference.

Saturday’s showdown between Dallas and Portland is the third and final meeting
of the season. The Mavs are 2-0 so far in the season series and have won 12
straight and 13 of the last 14 meetings.

Portland has lost seven straight and 10 of its last 11 trips to Dallas.