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Blazers will miss Matthews' 3s, D

Thursday should have been a triumphant night for the Portland Trail Blazers, who earned their second consecutive win over a Western Conference playoff rival, extended their winning streak to five games and matched last year's 41-19 start through 60 games.

Instead, the Blazers had to confront the devastating news that shooting guard Wesley Matthews ruptured his left Achilles tendon during the third quarter of their win over the Dallas Mavericks, ending his season.

Fortunately, Portland has a replacement for Matthews on hand in Arron Afflalo, acquired from the Denver Nuggets at last month's trade deadline to back up both wing positions. But the Blazers still will badly miss Matthews, and his absence could be the difference between Portland advancing in the playoffs and losing in the first round.