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Game Thread: Dallas (53-23) at Trail Blazers (44-32)

WHO: The Portland Trail Blazers host the Dallas Mavericks

WHAT: A possible first-round preview

WHERE: Rose Garden, Portland, OR

WHEN: 8:00pm CT

HOW: League Pass | KTXA | CSN-POR | KESN | KXTG

THE STORY: What else is there to say? The Mavericks have been shooting poorly, losing leads and generally looking like a bottom-tier team against opponents that matter, and even those that don't. This game could be a preview of the first round of the playoffs if both teams stay in their current seeding. The Mavericks MUST contain LaMarcus Aldridge if they hope to have any success, and Dirk Nowitzki needs to perform with his supporting cast. There are links, as is always the case, and be sure to visit one of SBNation's finest blogs, Blazersedge.

**UPDATE** Tyson Chandler will not play due to back stiffness

Mavericks-Trail Blazers Preview - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
The Dallas Mavericks' season-high six-game road trip is coming to an end in a venue where opponents haven't been very successful recently. The Portland Trail Blazers seek their eighth consecutive home victory Sunday night as LaMarcus Aldridge looks to continue his impressive run against Dallas in a possible postseason preview.

Mavericks-Trail Blazers preview — Mavs wrap up long road trip, try to bounce back versus Blazers
The Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers appear to be on a collision course set to come together in the first round of the playoff. That makes Thursday night’s match between the two squads more than just a possible playoff preview of the No. 3 seed versus the sixth seed.

Mavs must hit first in possible playoff preview - Dallas Mavericks Blog - ESPN Dallas
Dirk Nowitzki accurately assessed the Mavs’ place in the West playoff picture after his off night in Oakland. "It basically looks like we’ve got the 3 seed locked up," Nowitzki said. The rest of the top half of that picture became a lot clearer this afternoon.

Trip turning into stumble as Mavericks fall to Warriors, 99-92
You might say the Mavericks shot themselves in the foot Saturday night, but that would have required them actually being able to hit something when they shot. Pitiful 3-point shooting led to a horrid third quarter and a 99-92 loss to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena as their season-long road trip continued to unravel.