Blazers Try to Avoid 0-3 Playoffs Hole as They Host Mavericks

2011 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game #3
#3 Dallas Mavericks at #6 Portland Trail Blazers (DAL leads series 2-0) Best of Seven Series Format, 2-2-1-1-1
Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon
Thursday, April 21, 2011, 10:35 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: Blazers -5 1/2
Current Line: Blazers -5 1/2
Opening Total: 186
Current Total: 186 1/2
Money Line: POR -250 / DAL +210

After the Western Conference playoffs were set, and someone told you 2 of the series would be 2-0  and 2 would be tied 1-1 after two games, you would have probably guessed Mavericks-Blazers and Thunder-Nuggets would be even after two games. However, it is Spurs-Grizzlies and Lakers-Hornets that are 1-1. The Mavericks were picked by many to be the most likely upset victim in the Western Conference if their were one. However, the Mavericks have ridden two dominant performances from Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd to a 2-0 series lead. However, now the series shifts to Portland, one of the toughest places to play in the NBA for the visiting team. A Portland win tonight would get right back in the series, but if Dallas were to win they would have an almost insurmountable 3-0 series lead. No NBA team has ever come back from an 0-3 series deficit to win the series, though it has happened 4 times in hockey and once in baseball.

After scoring 28 points in the Mavericks  89-81 victory in game #1 Dirk Nowitzki had an even better game #2 in the Mavs’ 101-89 victory. Dirk exploded for 33 points, 7 revounds, 4 assists, a block and a steal. He was 15 for 17 from the free throw line and 9-22 from the field. He is averaging 30.5 points a game during the playoffs so far. Jason Kidd had 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists in game #1. He had 18 points and 8 assists in game 2. In game #2, Dallas small forward Peja Stojakovic went off for 21 points and 5 rebounds in the win. He was 5 for 10 from 3 point range. Jason Terry added 10 points off the bench. Center Tyson Chandler led the team in rebounding with 10. The Mavericks shot almost 49% from the field, and 42% from 3-point range. They made 19 out of 26 free throws. The Mavericks had 37 rebounds, 20 assists, and only 6 turnovers.

The Blazers are down 2-0 but it is not because of forward LeMarcus Aldridge. He is averaging almost 26 points a game in the two losses along with 8 rebounds and 2 blocks a game. Tuesday night Aldridge had 24 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks. Small forward Gerald Wallace added 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists in the losing cause Tuesday night. Point guard Andre Miller also had 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists in Game #2. Guard Wesley Matthews added 13 points. Samll Forward Nicolas Batum added 10 points off the bench.  Marcus Camby hasn’t been scoring much but is averaging 13 rebounds a game in the two losses  Portland shot 49% from the field in game #2, and made 7 out of 14 three-pointers. The Blazers were 18 for 27 from the free throw line. They had 37 rebounds, 20 assists, and 12 turnovers in game #2.

Dallas is 8-5 straight up against Portland in the last 13 meetings, but 7-6 ATS in those games. The over is also 7-6 in those games. Portland is 91-67 ATS as a favorite over the last 3 seasons. Dallas is 46-36 ATS in all games this season, including 25-16 on the road, 15-6 after a 10 point or higher win the previous game,  24-10 after 3 or more consecutive wins, and 26-16 versus teams with winning records.

Dallas has been playing with out Caron Butler since early January and he si out indefinitely with a knee injury. Guard Dominque Jones is out indefinitely as well with a foot injury. Forward Roqrique Beaubois is questionable tonight with a foot injury after missing the first two games of the series. Portland Center Greg Oden and guard Elliot Williams have missed the entire season with knee injuries. Blazers guard Wesley Matthews injured his head in the last game but is probable tonight.  Camby is also probable tonight for Portland with a hand injury.

Dallas held serve by winning the first two at home. Now the series shifts to Portland for games 3 and 4. The home cooking might be enough to get Portland back in the series but if they can’t stop Nowitzki and Kidd it won’t matter. Portland beat Dallas twice at the Rose Garden during the regular season.

Our NBA handicappers are red hot in the playoffs so far. Check out our NBA odds page for the best line for this game and every other playoff game.

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