Portland, OR – Chris Kaman poured in a game-high 26 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as the Dallas Mavericks held off a late Portland rally to down the Trail Blazers 96-91 on Sunday.
Dallas led by as many as 26 points in the second half, but saw the Blazers pull within three points in the final seconds.
Shawn Marion scored 20 points and Vince Carter added 14 points off the bench for the Mavs, who trail the Utah Jazz by 2 1/2 games for the final spot in the upcoming Western Conference Playoffs.
"We're one of those teams that lets other teams back in so it was kind of frustrating, but we're lucky there wasn't much time left on the clock because I think it might have been a different game," Kaman said.
Will Barton scored a career-high 22 points to go with 13 rebounds and six assists off the bench and LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 18 points for Portland, which has been eliminated from playoff contention for the second consecutive season.
"Everyone on the team says I've got a special talent," Barton said. "You've just got to wait your turn sometimes."
Dallas led 81-61 at the start of the fourth quarter, but the Blazers used a 22-7 run to make it 88-83 with 3 1/2 minutes to go.
O.J. Mayo canned a runner to stop the bleeding, and the Mavs were able to push their spread to nine, 94-85, with 1:45 showing. An Aldridge layup, followed by an Eric Maynor bucket got the hosts within 94-89 at the 1:05 mark.
After Mayo bricked a jumper, Barton was fouled and sunk a pair of free throws to make it a three-point game.
Mayo's trey drew iron and appeared to bounce over and hit the back of the backboard, but the whistles remained silent and Portland was forced to call a time out.
Damian Lillard's layup with 6.9 seconds left rimmed out and Marion added a layup as time expired to account for the final margin.
Barton poured in 12 points in the fourth and went a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line over the final 12 minutes.
Dallas led 29-18 after the first quarter and owned a 56-32 lead at the break. The Mavs spread swelled to 26 in the third, but Portland was able to cut it to 81-61 entering the final frame.
Dallas outscored the Blazers 62-46 in the paint ... Blazers guard Luke Babbit finished with 10 points ... Barton set a career high with 13 rebounds ... Dallas will take on the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday ... Blazers guard Wesley Matthews left the game in the second quarter with an apparent ankle injury. He did not return.