Backcourt mismatches finally hurt Mavs

April, 22, 2011
4/22/11
9:05
AM CT
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Trail Blazers' bigger guards finally had their way. Wesley Matthews was red-hot out of the gate, hitting four 3-pointers and scoring 14 points halfway through the first period.

Brandon Roy came to life for the first time this series with 16 points and four assists.

Matthews and Roy and point guard Andre Miller combined for 57 points on 20-of-35 shooting in the Blazers' 97-92 Game 3 win that shrunk the Dallas Mavericks' first-round series lead to 2-1. Roy and Matthews combined for 41 points after notching a total of 17 in Games 1 and 2.

The Mavs got 29 points from Jason Terry on 10-of-13 shooting, but received just 14 points on 5-of-14 shooting from Jason Kidd, DeShawn Stevenson and J.J. Barea.

Matthews' hot start helped the Blazers jump out to a 16-7 lead that immediately got the crowd into the game and put Dallas in a hole. It was Roy, who hit six consecutive shots from late in the first quarter until he finally missed one early in the fourth, who powered the Blazers through the middle quarters.

His seven-point surge late in the third quarter helped to Portland take a late lead and finish the third quarter ahead 75-72. The Mavs would never lead again.

Roy, a three-time All-Star besieged by knee injuries, had produced just three points on 1-of-8 shooting in the first two games. He was struggling so badly that Blazers coach Nate McMillan kept him on the bench for all but eight minutes of Game 2. He played 24 minutes in Game 3 and finished with 16 points and four assists. He accounted for 26 of the Blazers' 56 points during his 24 minutes on the floor.

He took advantage of mismatches against the smaller Terry and Barea for his first impact of the series. The Blazers just hope he can continue to produce. His regular-season track record suggests that it is not likely.

The Mavs, however, contend that they continue to prepare for Roy as though he is still an All-Star. After all, Roy's Game 3 performance was his best since hurting the Mavs for 21 points in a loss at Portland in mid-March.

"We continue to game plan for Roy as an All-Star player because he's capable of doing this any night," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "He's done it to us this year so I'm not surprised. There were a couple of plays that I thought were key plays that we could have done a better job on, and covered better that may not have given him openings at the wrong times for us."

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsD. Nowitzki 6.2
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9