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Portland puts away Dallas with 44-point third

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Like the Portland Trail Blazers, Dale Davis had been struggling of late. So the 6-foot-11 former All-Star decided he needed to shake things up.

Davis scored all 16 of his points in a dominant third quarter
for the Blazers, who snapped a three-game losing streak with a
112-95 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.

"Usually when I'm in a funk, I go back to the old roots,'' said Davis, who sported a newly shaved head. "Cut it all off and go penitentiary-style. That's me, so that's the way it's going to have to go down.''

Portland scored 44 points in the third, tying the team's season high for points in a quarter. Rasheed Wallace led the Blazers with 20 points and nine rebounds.

"It was an intense game,'' Portland coach Maurice Cheeks said. "We had a real businesslike attitude. We all understand the importance of this game.''

Dirk Nowitzki had 20 points to lead Dallas, but he shot just
6-for-16 from the floor. Steve Nash added 15 for the Mavericks, who
had won three straight. They have one game left on a four-game road trip.

"We didn't have much of a chance from the opening tipoff to the end,'' Mavs coach Don Nelson said. "They just outplayed us. The coaches have seen this coming the last couple of games. We've pushed our team real hard to make sure we didn't stub our toe the first two games out, and it just kind of caught up with us.

Dallas looked overwhelmed on defense, allowing the Blazers to
shoot 54.3 percent for the game.

"We didn't rebound the ball, we didn't guard them in the zone
or the man-to-man,'' Nowitzki said. "We could see this coming in
the last couple of games. We haven't really performed at our level
the last three or four games, but we snuck through. Hopefully this
will wake us up.''

The Blazers, who moved back into a virtual tie with Minnesota
for the No. 4 playoff spot in the Western Conference, shot
17-for-21 overall and 4-for-6 from 3-point range in the third. The
outburst turned a seven-point halftime lead into a 95-71 blowout.

Dallas managed just one rebound the entire third quarter, a
defensive board by Nowitzki.

"That's embarrassing,'' Nelson said. "Rebounding has been a
problem all year, and they just totally dominated us there. All I
can tell you is I had my biggest players in there and they couldn't
do anything about it.''

The Blazers finished with a 48-27 rebounding advantage.

After opening the second quarter down two, the Blazers retook
the lead on a 9-2 spurt. Portland collected seven offensive
rebounds in the period and had 10 second-chance points in the half.

"We needed a win,'' Damon Stoudamire said. We were able to
force our will on the game, and usually they're the type of team
that forces their will on the game. This was a big momentum gain
for us.''

Zach Randolph was particularly effective in the first half,
going 5-for-5 from the field with three offensive rebounds. He
finished with 13 points and nine rebounds.

Derek Anderson had 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Stoudamire added 17 points.

Dallas guard Michael Finley missed the game with a strained left
hamstring, the fifth straight game he has missed.

Game notes
With five assists, Damon Stoudamire surpassed 2,000 as a
Blazer, and he needs five to pass Jim Paxson for fifth place in
team history. ... Portland is 7-11 with Stoudamire in the starting
lineup. ... Avery Johnson played in his 1,000th career game,
becoming just the second player under 6 feet to reach that
milestone. Calvin Murphy (5-foot-6) played in 1,002 career games.
Johnson is 5-11.

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