Mavs, Blazers tip it up in Big D

( - A pair of Western Conference powers collide Saturday in Big D, as the Dallas Mavericks play host to the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Mavericks will play their next three games at home versus Portland, LA Clippers and Utah, and are 15-8 as the host.

Dallas has won four of its last five games and recorded a 101-78 victory at Sacramento Thursday night. Monta Ellis scored 21 points, Tyson Chandler added 16 and 16 rebounds, and both J.J. Barea and Devin Harris for the Mavericks, who did not have the services of Dirk Nowitzki (rest).

"Our balance all around was good and it needed to be without Dirk," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "We just had really even contributions from top to bottom. It was a game we had to get because last night was really tough."

The Mavs have made at least 10 3-pointers in each of their last six games.

Portland will play its next two games in the Lone Star State against the Mavericks and Houston Rockets, and is 12-11 outside Rip City.

The Trail Blazers have lost six in a row on the road, but have won two in a row overall at home. In Thursday's 108-87 victory versus the Phoenix Suns, Nicolas Batum scored 20 points, LaMarcus Aldridge added 19 and 13 rebounds, and Wesley Matthews ended with 14 points.

Damian Lillard finished with 13 points for the Blazers, who poured in 42 points in the fourth quarter and won for the fourth time in the past 12 contests.

"We were able to pull away in the fourth quarter ... It was a good win against a Western Conference team we have to play a couple more times," Portland coach Terry Stotts said.

In injury news for Portland, center Chris Kaman (back) is questionable against the Mavericks. He is averaging 9.1 points and 6.8 rebounds.

Portland defeated Dallas, 108-87, on Nov. 6 in the Rose City and was led by Aldridge's 20 points. Nowitzki had 17 points in that one for the Mavs, who will face the Blazers two more times on March 5 and April 15.

The Mavs took two of three against the Blazers last season and have captured nine of the last 13 encounters between the teams.