The Trail Blazers have been yo-yoing through the second half of the season, hoping for a chance to move into the top four of the Western Conference, then trying not to drop out of the top eight and out of the playoff picture.
After Tuesday's win over Dallas, Portland (38-29) is in a virtual tie with New Orleans (39-30), and the Blazers play nine of their final 15 regular-season games at home.
Next up at the Rose Garden is Cleveland (12-53), which owns the NBA's worst record. Cavaliers coach Byron Scott questioned his players' heart after a listless 95-75 loss to Oklahoma City on Sunday.
Portland coach Nate McMillan doesn't want to hear any of it.
"We're not in the playoffs yet," McMillan said. "I mean, we're not locked, so we need to win games. Against Cleveland, we need to come out and play a good game. We can't be messing around. We need to be focused, we need to be locked, we need to take care of business."
TRAIL BLAZERS 104, MAVERICKS 101: LaMarcus Aldridge scored 30 points and grabbed eight rebounds as Portland ended a two-game losing streak by knocking off Dallas on Tuesday night at the Rose Garden. Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks (47-20) with 28 points and 11 boards, but he missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds that could have forced overtime.
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