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Trail Blazers-Mavericks Preview

Jan 30, 2010 - 6:42 AM By JEFF MEZYDLO STATS Senior Writer

Portland (27-21) at Dallas (30-16), 9:00 p.m. EDT

It's been almost 11 years since Portland has won consecutive road games against the Dallas Mavericks. The way the Trail Blazers are currently playing without injured star Brandon Roy, achieving that feat could be even more difficult.

With their All-Star guard still sidelined, the Trail Blazers look to avoid a season-high fourth straight loss when they visit the Mavericks on Saturday night.

Roy missed his fifth consecutive game Friday with a sprained right hamstring. Portland (27-21) remained competitive, but ultimately fell 104-100 at Houston. The Trail Blazers are 1-4 without Roy, who's averaging a team-leading 23.1 points.

Portland coach Nate McMillan said Roy will be re-evaluated Monday and could return as early as Wednesday night against Utah. The Trail Blazers will certainly miss him Saturday. Roy had 23 points, six assists and four steals in an 85-81 victory over the Mavericks on Dec. 22, as the Blazers snapped an 11-game losing streak in Dallas.

The Trail Blazers haven't won two in a row anywhere against the Mavericks since the 2002-03 season, and haven't taken consecutive contests at Dallas since March 15 and April 17, 1999. Portland is 3-17 at Dallas since the beginning of the 1999-2000 season, averaging 88.9 points in those games.

During their current three-game losing streak, the Trail Blazers have missed Roy at both ends of the floor while facing some of the NBA's top guards. New Orleans' Chris Paul, Utah's Deron Williams and Houston's Aaron Brooks have combined for 81 points and 26 assists against Portland.

"The point guards in the last few games have just blown by us," McMillan said. "The weak side is not helping and we are not guarding anyone. We have to bend our knees and guard somebody."

It won't get any easier against Dallas' backcourt of Jason Terry (16.5 ppg) and Jason Kidd (8.9 ppg, 9.2 assists per game). Backup guard Jose Juan Barea had 22 points in the December loss to the Trail Blazers.

Second-year guard Jerryd Bayless has totaled 27 points while starting the last two games in place of Roy, while reserve Rudy Fernandez had a season-high 25 in Friday's loss to the Rockets.

Portland will likely try to continue to get the ball inside to LaMarcus Aldridge, who's averaged 20.9 points and 9.1 rebounds in his last seven games overall, and 21.0 with 9.3 boards in his last three against Dallas.

Not only are the Southwest Division-leading Mavericks (30-16) looking to avenge a rare home defeat to Portland, but they're also trying to bounce back from a 112-106 loss at Phoenix on Thursday.

Terry had 21 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 19 as Dallas blew an eight-point lead early in the fourth quarter to fall for the fifth time in 10 games.

"It's unbelievable to me that we've come halfway through the season and we still look like we're searching in the fourth quarter," said Terry, averaging 20.7 points in his last three games.

Nowitzki, the Mavericks' lone representative for next month's All-Star Game at nearby Cowboys Stadium, is averaging 26.7 points and 10.7 rebounds in his last three home games against the Trail Blazers.