DALLAS – Josh Howard had 23 points and a season-high 14 rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks overcame a weak performance by Dirk Nowitzki for a 91-80 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.

Jason Terry added 17 points and Devin Harris had 14 points and seven assists for the Mavericks, who extended their home winning streak against the Blazers to nine games.

Dallas-area native and former University of Texas star LaMarcus Aldridge led the Trail Blazers with 22 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high five blocked shots.

Nowitzki, the defending league MVP, began the night averaging 21.7 points, but was 0-for-5 in the first quarter and went without a point for the game’s opening 20 minutes and 45 seconds. He finally converted a three-point play to give the Mavericks a 36-30 lead. Nowitzki finished with 11 points.

Aldridge drew the primary defensive assignment on Nowitzki, who missed 10 of 15 shots from the floor.

Steve Blake had 12 points and Sergio Rodriguez added 10 for the Trail Blazers, winless (0-8) on the road this season.

AP-ES-11-30-07 2302EST

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