Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/11

Game 1: Tuesday, December 11th
Trail Blazers103Final
Game 2: Wednesday, February 13th
Trail Blazers114
Game 3: Thursday, March 14th
Trail Blazers132
Game 4: Tuesday, April 9th
Trail Blazers96Final

Trail Blazers 103

(10-10, 3-6 away)

Mavericks 105


    Coverage: FSSW

    7:30 PM ET, December 11, 2001

    American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    POR 30 18 18 37103
    DAL 22 24 23 36105

    Top Performers

    Portland: B. Wells 21 Pts, 13 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Blk

    Dallas: S. Nash 39 Pts, 3 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    With Nowitzki hurt, Nash explodes for career-high 39

    DALLAS (AP) -- With Dirk Nowitzki in the locker room icing a sprained left ankle, Steve Nash took over for the Dallas Mavericks.

    With Dirk Nowitzki out and Steve Finley struggling, Steve Nash hoisted the Mavs on his shoulders.

    Nash scored a career-high 39 points -- 17 in the final 6:23 -- as the Mavericks ended their season-high three-game losing streak by beating the Portland Trail Blazers 105-103 Tuesday night.

    "We had one horse and we rode him and rode him," Mavericks coach Don Nelson said. "They had six horses, and we had one, but our horse won."

    The Mavericks got 20 points from Michael Finley, who made only seven of 26 attempts from the field.

    Nash went 12-for-16 from the field and hit 13 of 16 free throws. Of his 17 fourth-quarter points, 10 came at the line.

    "I just felt good all night and I tried to ride it out," Nash said.

    Bonzi Wells had 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who had won four of their previous six games. Rasheed Wallace and Ruben Patterson scored 16 points each, and Damon Stoudamire added 15 points and 12 assists.

    Nowitzki, averaging 24.5 points, finished with 10. He sprained the ankle when he stepped on teammate Juwan Howard's foot with 9:04 left in the second quarter after a move to the basket. Nowitzki was fouled on the play by Zach Randolph, hit 1-of-2 free throws, and did not return.

    At halftime, Nowitzki tested the ankle, but he could not run without a limp. He said he would try to play Thursday night against Cleveland.

    Nowitzki watched the second half against Portland on TV in the locker room, and cheered for his close friend, Nash.

    "Steve was unbelievable," Nowitzki said. "He carried the team and hit some unbelievable shots down the stretch to win the game."

    Trail Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks couldn't believe his team lost on a night when Nowitzki was hurt and Finley shot so poorly.

    "We should have won the game, no question," Cheeks said. "It seems every time we play someone they get a career high."

    Nash kept the Mavericks ahead down the stretch of a tight game after Tim Hardaway's 3-pointer with 7:48 remaining gave Dallas the lead for good at 81-78.

    Nash scored six straight points, capped by two free throws with 3:04 left, to extend the Mavericks' lead to 91-86.

    With 1:18 left, Nash hit a 3-pointer to increase the lead to 96-87, but he missed three of his team's next six free throws to allow the Trail Blazers to stay close.

    "I was so tired at the end, I started to get a little shaky," Nash said. "But then the game slowed down a little bit."

    Nash's two free throws with 3.9 seconds left gave Dallas a 105-100 lead, before Derek Anderson hit a 3-pointer at the final buzzer for Portland.

    The Mavericks, who lost at Utah on Monday night, were playing their third game in four nights.

    Hardaway had 12 points, and reserve Eduardo Najera sparked Dallas with seven points and nine rebounds.

    "I thought I brought some energy," Najera said. "I feel confidence. I was at the right position at the right time."

    Game notes
    Nash's previous career high was 31 points. ... Portland was without forward Scottie Pippen, day-to-day with a sprained right knee. Pippen was on the injured list with the same injury from Nov. 20 to Dec. 1. ... Nowitzki missed last Saturday night's game against Washington with a sprained left ankle, but the Mavericks said Tuesday night's was a different injury. ... Wallace was called for his seventh technical foul of the season in the third quarter.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 103 105
    FGM-FGA 41-81 (.506) 37-86 (.430)
    3PM-3PA 5-14 (.357) 6-19 (.316)
    FTM-FTA 16-24 (.667) 25-32 (.781)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-46 17-42
    Assists 24 22
    Turnovers 14 10
    Steals 6 7
    Blocks 5 7
    Fast Break Points 16 12
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (4/0) 22 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Bonzi Wells Wells
    Points: 21
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2
    Steve Nash Nash
    Points: 39
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1