Peja Stojakovic with big night

April, 20, 2011
4/20/11
12:32
AM CT
It was turn-back-the-clock night in Game 1 with the excellent performance by veteran point guard Jason Kidd.

Game 2 was Peja Stojakovic's turn.

The 33-year old forward scored 21 points in 27 minutes off the bench in the Mavericks' 101-89 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night. Stojakovic made 8-of-13 shots from the floor, including five 3-pointers.

[+] EnlargePeja Stojakovic
AP Photo/Tony GutierrezPeja Stojakovic eclipsed the 20-point barrier for the first time in a playoff game since 2008.
"I don't know how to explain it," Stojakovic said. "I was able to help the team and make the shots and this team is a very good basketball team and we have so many talented players. I think when we play a good defense we get into a better flow offensively but also Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki get a lot of attention to our offense, and sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't. But if we move the ball from one side to the other we can be very effective."

During the regular season, Stojakovic picked up just one 20-plus point game, Feb. 12 at Houston, where he scored 22 points. But Stojakovic was in a good groove in Game 2.

After missing his first shot of the night, a 3-pointer, Stojakovic made his next two baskets, both 3-pointers, in the first quarter. In the fourth quarter, Stojakovic extended a four-point lead to seven with his 3 at the 8:25 mark. After Portland cut the deficit to five, Stojakovic nailed another 3 to push to lead to 88-80 with 6:04 remaining.

The last time Stojakovic scored 20-plus points in a playoff game was May 2008 while playing for New Orleans when he scored 25 points vs. San Antonio.

"His shot-making was great and very timely," coach Rick Carlisle said. "But his defense was better. He was just really solid. He didn't let anybody drive by him all night, which was huge, and he just played a terrific all-around game. We're never sure which two or three guys may or may not get hot, but we need contributions from a lot of different guys on a nightly basis to be successful and that's what we got tonight."
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Monta Ellis
PTS AST STL MIN
21.3 4.6 1.6 34.0
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 11.6
AssistsR. Rondo 9.0
StealsR. Rondo 2.0
BlocksT. Chandler 1.4