Jason Terry's late surge helps injury-depleted Mavs past Blazers

DALLAS -- Jason Terry found his shooting touch just in time for the Dallas Mavericks.

Terry missed eight of his first 11 field-goal attempts before heating up down the stretch, scoring 12 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter to lead the injury-depleted Mavericks to an 84-81 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.

Without injured starters Dirk Nowitzki and Caron Butler, the Mavericks were desperate for offense, and Terry went 5 for 8 from the floor in the fourth quarter, knocking down both of his 3-point tries.

"I always think the next one is going in," said Terry, who moves from sixth man to starter in place of Butler.

DeShawn Stevenson also had 18 points, and Tyson Chandler added 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Mavericks, who had lost three of four.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points and 10 rebounds and Marcus Camby contributed 10 points and matched a season high with 20 rebounds for Portland.

Earlier in the day, the team announced that Butler will miss the rest of the season following surgery Tuesday to repair a torn tendon in his right knee.

Butler was Dallas' No. 3 scorer, averaging 14 points and 4.1 rebounds in almost 30 minutes per game. He was an inside-out force the Mavs relied on to draw defenses away from Nowitzki.

The team's top scorer at 24.1 points per game, Nowitzki missed his fifth straight game with a sprained right knee and is day-to-day.

Portland is without guard Brandon Roy, sidelined indefinitely with a left knee injury. Also, center Greg Oden is out for the season with a left knee injury.

Terry's 20-footer with 1:23 left gave Dallas the lead for good at 79-77.

Aldridge made one of two free throws, then Stevenson drained a 3-pointer with 51.9 seconds remaining for an 82-78 edge.

Wes Matthews banked in a 3 from the top of the key with 33.9 seconds left, but Terry nailed a 20-footer with 12.9 seconds remaining to pad Dallas' lead to 84-81.

"The fourth quarter is [Terry's] show," Chandler said. "He's done it over and over. He's so clutch, so much fun to watch."

Aldridge's 3-point attempt at the buzzer was long, and the Trail Blazers lost to the Mavs for the 21st time in the last 26 meetings.

"[The Mavericks] made big shots, we missed big shots," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "They got big boards, we gave up big boards. When it's winning time, you have to make those plays."

Minus two of his stars, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said defense is more important than ever for his team. Portland went 33 for 79 from the floor, including 4 for 16 on 3-pointers.

"That's one thing we can do is get better defensively," Carlisle said. "We battled and played a gritty game. That's what we have to do."

The Blazers appeared on the verge of taking control when Aldridge made a jump hook, then converted two free throws with 4:27 to play, extending the lead to 77-72.

But Chandler scored inside and Terry swished a 3-pointer from the left corner to pull Dallas into a tie at 77 with 2:34 remaining.

Stevenson scored nine during the third quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers, and Dallas carried a 62-60 advantage into the final quarter.

Stevenson hit three free throws with 0.3 seconds left in the second quarter after he was fouled by Matthews on a 3-pointer, giving Dallas a 43-40 edge at halftime.

Game notes
C Joel Przybilla went scoreless in 2:50 for Portland after missing the previous seven games with a sprained left ankle. He also sat out the season's first 18 games with a right knee injury and stomach flu. ... Carlisle said Butler's surgery "went extremely well, from what I heard." Carlisle said he's exchanged text messages with Butler. "He's in unbelievably great, positive spirits," Carlisle said. "He'll do great with this rehab." Butler can become a free agent at the end of the season.