Nowitzki struggles as Mavericks lose to Trail Blazers

Los Angeles, Nov 11 (DPA) A poor game by Dirk Nowitzki led to a rare loss for the Dallas Mavericks to the Portland Trail Blazers in National Basketball Association (NBA) action.

Nowitzi struggled on offence Saturday night and the visiting Mavericks lost to the Trail Blazers 82-912, for the first time in nearly four years.

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Brandon Roy scored a career-high 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting for Portland, which defeated Dallas for the first time since Dec 23, 2003, to end a 13-game losing streak in the series.

Nowitzki had made just 13-of-35 shots in his last two games and again had problems finding his usually sweet stroke. Hounded by Travis Outlaw, the German juggernaut made just 4-of-13 shots and scored a season-low 11 points as he battled foul trouble.

The 2007 MVP was 3-of-3 in the first half but had no impact as Dallas dug itself a 49-40 hole. Roy scored 14 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 12 for Portland, which never trailed thereafter.

“The Battle of the Big Threes” was not much of a contest as the visiting Boston Celtics scored their fifth consecutive win for the first time since 1987, defeating the New Jersey Nets 112-101. Paul Pierce scored 28 points, Ray Allen added 27 and 10 rebounds and Kevin Garnett 18 and 14 for Boston.

Richard Jefferson scored 28 points and Jason Kidd and Vince Carter added 17 apiece for New Jersey, which had won three in a row. Carter suffered a sprained right ankle in the third quarter and did not return.

“Brazilian Blur” Leandro Barbosa made eight three-pointers and scored a career-high 39 points as Phoenix Suns completed a Sunshine State weekend sweep with a 106-96 over the Orlando Magic. Grant Hill scored 14 points in his return to Orlando. Dwight Howard had 33 points and 18 rebounds for the Magic, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.

Argentine Carlos Delfino scored 16 points and Italian Andrea Bargnani added 14 in a balanced attack to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 101-71 trouncing of hosts Chicago Bulls, who suffered their fifth loss in six games this season.

Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points and Allen Iverson added 27 as visiting Denver Nuggets erased a 25-point second-quarter deficit to down Indiana Pacers 113-106.

Lithuania’s Linas Kleiza scored 12 of his 21 points in the final quarter to help complete the comeback. The Pacers have lost three games in a row.

Carlos Boozer scored 31 points and Russian Andrei Kirilenko added 15 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists as hosts Utah Jazz won their third straight game with a 118-94 drubbing of the Memphis Grizzlies. Spanish star Pau Gasol was limited to 11 points for Memphis.

Kevin Martin scored 29 points for hosts Sacramento Kings whose 100-93 triumph kept Minnesota Timberwolves winless after five games. Al Jefferson had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves.