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3 keys to re-beating the Portland Blazers

We’re just gonna pretend last night didn’t happen.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

The Mavericks will re-play the Portland Trail Blazers in their regular season series finale just after beating them 108-104 in Portland on Saturday. The 22-30 Blazers are in ninth place in the playoff race, just behind the Denver Nuggets and just ahead of the Mavericks. All three teams are likely to be in the playoff race to the end, and a win tonight gives the Mavericks a 3-1 edge against the Trailblazers should there be a tiebreaker.

It won’t be easy as the Mavericks play their third back to back in two weeks. Oh wait, did they play last night? I forget. Here’s some keys to the game:

Yogi-mania continues

Yogi Ferrell has made it to a new contract. Congrats on the two-year deal, may your arrow only go up and to the right, Yogi prince. His last game against the Blazers made national news with Yogi knocking nine of 11 from deep.

Splashy treys aside, his all-around game and the team’s lack of point guard depth has let him play 38 minutes a game as a Maverick. He has a sparkling five assists to 1.6 turnovers ratio and has been an attacker on the ball with 1.8 steals per game. Deron Williams may be back from a lingering toe injury tonight, but a good first game in his new contract would be a good sign for more Yogi-mania.

Another Wesley revenge game

Wesley Matthews has been playing a strong game over the last two weeks, even overcoming a two-game absence due to a hip injury. He’s diversified his offensive game with Seth Curry and Yogi in the lineup, and although his recent triples per game are down to 1.8 from a season average of 2.8, he’s offset that with sharper shooting from the field and the line to average 17 points per game.

He took it up a notch against his old team on Saturday, scoring 27 points on 17 shots and going 8-9 from the free-throw line. His usage rate was 30 percent, so playing his old team is just another game and isn’t special at all. Ahem, really.

Damian Lillard sees another poor game

While Yogi had his coming out party on Saturday, Lillard shot 20 percent from the field and also failed to convert on a final chance to tie when Seth Curry shut him out. Lillard gets a quick chance to even the score against Yogi-mania tonight in Dallas. His shot came back on Sunday against the Thunder as he scored 29 points on 22 shots. He did tweak his ankle in the fourth, but he’s definitely going to play against Yogi tonight.

How to watch

The game tips off at 7:30pm Central on Fox Sports Southwest and NBA League Pass.