Both squads are currently in the playoff mix with the Blazers sitting in 5th place with a 15-10 record and the Mavericks in 9th place with a 13-14 record.
The Mavericks are one of the hottest teams in the league, winners of four straight games. After a shaky start, they have righted the ship behind the scintillating performance of Luka Doncic. In a marquee matchup against Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans, Doncic exploded for a career-high 46 points and just narrowly missed a triple-double with eight rebounds and 12 assists. Kristaps Porzingis has also been vital for the Mavericks ascendance as illustrated by his 36 points on a career-high eight 3-pointers in the contest.
According to Porzingis, the duo’s excellent offensive outburst was a welcome development. “We're on the right path," Porzingis said after the win. "We're going to keep working on that chemistry and keep making sure that both of us are playing on a high level."
Offense has come easy for the Mavericks during their hot streak, averaging over 130 points per game. They are now 9th in team offensive rating with 112.4.
While the Mavericks have been relying on Doncic and Porzingis as of late, the Blazers have had different players contribute alongside superstar Damian Lillard in the midst of their own three-game winning streak. In their last victory that came against the Cleveland Cavaliers, it was Gary Trent Jr. that led the team in scoring with 26 points. Four players produced over 20 points including Carmelo Anthony with 23, Enes Kanter with 21, and Lillard with 20.
"Each game was a very solid win in its own way," said Blazers coach Terry Stotts. "I liked the way we played in each of those games in a different way."
This will be the first match between the Blazers and Mavericks since the NBA bubble in Florida. It was one of the most thrilling battles last season as Lillard erupted for a franchise-high 61 points to help the Blazers in their quest for a playoff spot. After that performance, no one dared forget to put respect on Lillard’s name.