PORTLAND, Ore. – Gerald Wallace scored 19 points and the Portland Trail Blazers took advantage of the road-weary Dallas
Mavericks for a 104-96 victory on Sunday night.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points for the Blazers, who have won eight straight at home.
Overall, Portland has won seven of its last 10 as it jockeys for playoff position in the Western Conference. The Blazers were sitting in the sixth spot, a game in front of Memphis and New Orleans with five games to go.
Shawn Marion had 19 points for Dallas, which has lost three straight. The Mavericks looked sluggish for good reason: It was their fourth game in five nights and the final stop on a six-game trip.
The Mavericks were without center Tyson Chandler because of a sore lower back. It was just the seventh game the 7-foot-1 veteran has missed this season. Brendan Haywood started in his place. Chandler is averaging 10.2 points and 9.3 rebounds this season for Dallas, which has already clinched a playoff spot.
The Blazers could have clinched with a victory over the Mavs, but they were thwarted when Houston beat Atlanta 112-109 earlier in the night.
The Mavericks were coming off a 99-92 loss to Golden State on Saturday night, which all but eliminated their chances of landing the second seed in the West. Earlier in the week, Dallas fell 110-82 to the Lakers in an unruly game that saw the ejection of five players.
Aldridge scored 10 points in the game’s first 9 minutes as the Blazers jumped out to a 19-12 lead. Portland would lead by as many 15 points in the first half.
After Jose Barea’s scoop narrowed it to 43-39 for Dallas, Portland went on a 18-7 run to close out the half for a 61-46 lead.
Dallas was hurt when Barea, who led the reserves with 10 points, collected his third foul in the first half. He fouled out in the second.
The Blazers built a 72-52 lead midway through the third quarter on Miller’s pull-up jumper.
Brandon Roy’s layup in the fourth made it 95-74.
DeShawn Stevenson hit a 3-pointer to pull the Mavericks to 95-82, but Wesley Matthews answered with a layup and a free throw for Portland.
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle finally sat Dirk Nowitzki with 4:20 left.
Notes: Blazers F Wallace and Mavs G Jason Terry wore green headbands because it’s NBA Green Week to promote environmental awareness. … Blazers F Rudy Fernandez turns 26 on Monday. … Former Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington was at the game.Tweet