DALLAS -- The home team has shot more free throw attempts in three of the first five games of this series and holds a definitive advantage in free throw attempts overall.
Is that good news for the Portland Trail Blazers who need a win in Game 6 at the Rose Garden stave off elimination?
In three games in Dallas, the Dallas Mavericks have enjoyed an 88-59 edge in free throw attempts and have outscored the Portland Trail Blazers by 26 points. Games 1 and 5 were heavily weighted in the Mavs' favor -- 64 attempts to just 32 for Portland. Conversely, in the two games at the Rose Garden, the Blazers own a 44-33 edge in attempts and a 39-23 margin in free throws made. In Game 4, the Blazers took 23 attempts to just 10 for the Mavs.
Dirk Nowitzki, who has been the clear aggressor offensively in the series and especially at home, has seen his free throw attempts fluctuate wildly between home and away. Overall, Nowitzki is 45-of-52 at the free throw line. Jason Terry is next in attempts with 18. Andre Miller leads the Blazers with 21 attempts and LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace each have taken 20.
Here's Nowitzki's breakdown: 37-of-41 at home; 8-of-11 on the road.
With Portland's two home wins coming by a combined margin of seven points, how can the Mavs make sure that a lopsided free throw game doesn't stand in the way of clinching the series and a do-or-die Game 7 on Saturday night?
"We've got to continue -- and that's one thing we did well in Game 5, we drove the ball," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "We want to make sure we have the right balance of our jump shot setting up our drive and our drive setting up our jump shot. We've got to be a team that has an aggressive mindset to get in the paint. When you do that it helps you get to the free throw line more. It helps you break down the defense, so you can kick and get some open shots and open 3-point opportunities."