(Sports Network) - A pair of 2-1 squads do battle Monday night when the Dallas
Mavericks play host to the somewhat surprising Portland Trail Blazers at
American Airlines Center.
The Mavericks last played Saturday when they clobbered the Charlotte Bobcats
at home, 126-99. That result should surprise no one. The Mavericks have never
lost to the Bobcats in 16 matchups, and Charlotte has never scored 100 points
The Mavs flew past 100 points, thanks to a big night from new shooting guard,
O.J. Mayo. Signed as a free agent in the offseason, the former member of the
Memphis Grizzlies went off for 30 points on 7-for-10 3-point shooting on
"We're professionals, so we're trying to put it together rather fast and make
sure we have some success here, knowing that Dirk's out and we've been having
a couple of injuries," said Mayo, whose seven 3-pointers were a career-high.
"We're just trying to go out there and take care of business. We wanted to
come out with an attack mentality and really just get after it."
They did that in a well-balanced effort. New point guard Darren Collison had
18 points and 10 assists and three players came off the bench for double-
One of them was center Chris Kaman. He missed the first two games of the
season with a strained right calf and didn't start Saturday night. Head coach
Rick Carlisle opted to retain his lineup from the first two games, but Kaman
checked in two minutes into the contest and put up 16 points.
The Trail Blazers have enjoyed a surprising 2-1 start to its season with wins
over the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets. Their only loss came
against the reigning Western Conference champions, the Oklahoma City Thunder
in the Thunder's home-opener.
The Blazers victory on Saturday was an especially pleasing one. They bested
the Houston Rockets 95-85 in overtime in the home debut of James Harden and
After he went off for 37 and 45 in his first two games as Rocket, the Blazers
limited Harden to 24 points on 8-for-24 shooting. It was Wesley Matthews' job
to defend the Beard and did an admirable job.
"Wes is a warrior. He took a challenge on James Harden and was physical and
tenacious. He's as good a competitor as I've been around," said head coach
LaMarcs Aldridge is an elite player in this league, but rookie point guard
Damian Lillard has been the straw stirring the drink in Portland. He's
averaged 21.3 PPG and nine assists.
The Mavericks took two of three from the Blazers last season, but Portland won
in overtime in Dallas late in the season.
The Sports Network