THE FACTS: The Dallas Mavericks helped coach Rick Carlisle clinch his 500th career win by doing what he preaches every day: finishing strong and playing great defense. O.J. Mayo scored 28 points to lead Dallas to a 105-99 victory Wednesday against the visiting Portland Trail Blazers, who were held to 38 points in the second half after pouring in 61 in the first half.
Vince Carter added 17 points off the bench, Dirk Nowitzki scored 16 and Shawn Marion posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Mavericks (21-28). Carlisle became the 28th coach to reach that milestone. He is 500-353 (.586) overall and 219-142 (.607) since joining Dallas in 2008 after two seasons in Detroit (2001-03) and four in Indiana (2004-07).
Dallas native LaMarcus Aldridge paced Portland (25-24) with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Wesley Matthews scored 21 points, rookie Damian Lillard added 19 and J.J. Hickson contributed 14 points and 10 boards. The Trail Blazers, who led by as many as 12 in the first half, have lost five of their last six visits to the American Airlines Center.
QUOTABLE: "It means I've been around a long time. I'm getting old. But it means I've had a lot of good players. It's meaningful, but I'm not into those kinds of things. I'm into the day-to-day stuff. One relief I have is I think after tomorrow I won't have to hear about it again for a while, so that's good."
-- Rick Carlisle on his 500th win
THE STAT: After starting 8-for-11 from 3-point range, the Trail Blazers went 2-for-19 the rest of the game. That shooting slump included a miss by Matthews that could have tied the game at 97-97 with 51 seconds remaining.
TURNING POINT: After Aldridge went off for 14 points in the third quarter, Mavericks forward Elton Brand played physical, inspired defense to help limit the All-Star to four points in the fourth. Three-pointers by Rodrigue Beaubois, Carter and Marion gave Dallas the lead for good.
QUOTABLE II: "Both teams made [second half] adjustments. I thought they were more aggressive picking up our point guards and trying to disrupt the backcourt."
-- Portland coach Terry Stotts
HOT: Mayo scored 20 points on 8-for-9 shooting (3-for-4 from 3-point range) in the first half, the third time in his career he has scored 20-plus before halftime.
NOT: Clinging to an 82-80 lead to start the fourth quarter, Portland picked a bad time to go stone cold. The Blazers missed 11 of their first 12 shots and finished 6-for-20 (30.0 percent) in the quarter. They fell to 17-2 when leading after three quarters, while the Mavs improved to 4-22 when trailing after three.
GOOD MOVE: After missing Monday's loss at Oklahoma City due to an illness, a healthy Carter made sick two-handed reverse slam dunk with 55.9 seconds left in the first half. Pretty impressive for a 15-year veteran who turned 36 last month.
FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Playing through a right wrist injury, Portland forward Nicolas Batum failed to reach double figures for the fourth time in his last six games. He continues to provide value in other areas, finishing with nine points, six rebounds, six assists and one steal.
ROOKIE WATCH: Lillard was a combined 5-for-24 in the first two meetings against Dallas, but started strong in this one. He scored the Blazers' final 12 points of the first quarter. ... Mavericks rookie center Bernard James turns 28 Thursday. Miami's LeBron James, who is playing in his 10th NBA season, is also 28.
NOTABLE: The Mavericks began a stretch in which they play five straight and seven of their next eight at home, while the Blazers played the second of six straight road games. ... Chris Kaman (concussion) did not play for Dallas. Sasha Pavlovic (left foot), Ronnie Price (right ankle) and Eliot Williams (left Achilles) were not available for Portland. ... Sixteen of the last 18 meetings have been decided by 10 or fewer points. ... After committing a season-high 28 turnovers in Monday's win at Minnesota, Portland had only six against Dallas. ... Nowitzki needs seven free throws to pass Wilt Chamberlain (6,057) for 15th place in NBA history.
UP NEXT: For the Mavericks, Saturday vs. Golden State, Monday vs. Atlanta, Wednesday vs. Sacramento. For the Trail Blazers, Friday @ Houston, Sunday @ Orlando, Tuesday @ Miami.