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GAME THREAD: Dallas Mavericks versus Portland Trail Blazers

Dallas welcomes Damian Lillard and the Blazers.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

WHO: Dallas Mavericks versus Portland Trail Blazers

WHAT: A serious challenge for Dennis Smith Jr., who’ll be facing one of the best backcourts in the league

WHEN: 7:30pm Central

WHERE: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

HOW: TXA21 or NBA League Pass

THE STORY: Tonight the Dallas Mavericks face one of the hottest teams in the NBA. Over the last month, the Trail Blazers have emerged from the Western Conference morass to stake a practically uncontested claim on the third seed. With eight games separating the Blazers from the No. 2 Rockets and three between them and the No. 4 Spurs, it’s unlikely Portland will start the playoffs as anything other than the three seed.

On the other end, as you may have heard, Dallas will be without Nerlens Noel tonight and the rest of the season after Noel received a five-game suspension for violating the NBA’s drug policy.

Go Mavs? Go Mavs.