Final

Dallas wins series 4-2 (Game 1 of 6)

Dallas wins series 4-2

Game 1: Saturday, April 16th
Trail Blazers81Final
Mavericks89
Game 2: Tuesday, April 19th
Trail Blazers89Final
Mavericks101
Game 3: Thursday, April 21st
Mavericks92Final
Trail Blazers97
Game 4: Saturday, April 23rd
Mavericks82Final
Trail Blazers84
Game 5: Monday, April 25th
Trail Blazers82Final
Mavericks93
Game 6: Thursday, April 28th
Mavericks103Final
Trail Blazers96

Trail Blazers 81

(48-34, 18-23 away)

Mavericks 89

(57-25, 29-12 home)

Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

9:30 PM ET, April 16, 2011

American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

1 2 3 4 T
POR 22 15 20 2481
DAL 21 26 14 2889

Top Performers

Portland: L. Aldridge 27 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

Dallas: J. Kidd 24 Pts, 5 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

Dirk Nowitzki explodes in 4th to rally Mavs past Blazers

Associated Press

DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki knows how to take over a game when the Dallas Mavericks need him the most, and Jason Kidd can still make some big shots.

Nowitzki scored 18 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter and the 38-year-old Kidd had a playoff career-best six 3-pointers among his 24 points as Dallas defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 89-81 Saturday night in Game 1 of their first-round Western Conference series.

"Just really kept on plugging," Nowitzki said. "I've got to keep going. The team told me to keep attacking and things will start happening."

Even though Nowitzki struggled from the field most of the night, making only 7 of 20 shots, he came through when the Mavericks needed him most.

Nowitzki scored 12 consecutive points in the game-turning spurt in the closing minutes when Dallas tied the game and eventually went ahead to stay. In the opener of his 11th consecutive postseason appearance with the Mavs, the perennial All-Star made all 13 of his free throws -- all in the fourth quarter.

Soon after Portland had its largest lead of six points, the Mavericks got back within 72-70 when Nowitzki made two free throws with 4:49 left.

After Kidd rebounded an Andre Miller miss, Nowitzki got fouled and hit two more free throws to tie the game.

Miller then scored with a finger-roll, but Nowitzki hit a 3-pointer from the right corner to put the Mavs ahead to stay with 3:40 left.

"The most important shot of the game," coach Rick Carlisle said. "That really energized our building and energized our team. ... He stayed with it, and when we talk about the important of persistence on our team, he was a great example of that tonight because it wasn't going great necessarily the whole game."

Dallas, the No. 3 Western Conference seed, survived in Game 1 against a feisty bunch of Trail Blazers who have become a chic pick for a first-round playoff upset -- partly because the Mavericks have been knocked out in the first round three of the past four years since taking a 2-0 lead in the 2006 NBA Finals.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Dallas.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points for Portland and Miller had 18.

Nowitzki made two more free throws after he was fouled hard and was rubbing his left elbow.

Aldridge then had a scooping shot before Nowitzki spun between two defenders at the free throw line and made the shot while being fouled. His free throw made it 80-76.

The 38-year-old Kidd, in his 122nd playoff game over 15 NBA postseasons, was 9-of-14 shooting. He also had four assists and two steals. His highest-scoring game during the regular season was 21 points against the Los Angeles Lakers in mid-January.

"They want me to be aggressive," Kidd said. "We all know that Dirk and Jet [Jason Terry] are offensive guys and they put the ball up. But in the playoffs you have to have other guys step up and score and I know that our opponents are going to give me that jump shot and I have to be able to knock it down."

Portland built its lead to 72-66 when Brandon Roy turned and saw Nicolas Batum charging along the baseline and passed him the ball for an easy dunk.

"We just had to stay solid down the stretch and we didn't," Aldridge said. "But when you have a chance to win it always makes you feel better."

The Blazers' biggest lead came during a span when Dallas missed 10 consecutive field goals over a stretch of nearly 11 minutes after building a 10-point lead. Kidd's step-back jumper with 5:28 left in the game ended that miserable spurt before Nowitzki took over.

"Dirk came alive," Portland center Marcus Camby said. "We know we let one get away, but we can't let this one linger."

Aldridge got off to a fast start with 11 points in the first 7 1/2 minutes of the game in his hometown. That included eight points in a span of less than 2 minutes that he bookended with a pair of alley-oop dunks from Camby to put the Blazers up 15-14.

A long 3-pointer by Terry put the Mavericks up 33-26. Portland cut the gap to 35-33 on Batum's bounce pass through the lane to Miller for a basket.

A putback dunk by Brendan Haywood ignited a half-ending 12-4 run. That was the first of seven straight points for Dallas before Aldridge had another high-flying dunk with 3 minutes left in the half -- this one on a pass from Miller -- for his first basket since his early scoring flurry, and only other one before halftime.

After Portland scored the first six points of the second half, cutting the gap to 47-43, Kidd hit consecutive 3-pointers. Kidd ended up with the ball after missing another from beyond the arc, then got the ball to Shawn Marion for a 16-footer. Less than 2 minutes later, Kidd hit another long jumper for a 57-47 lead.

It was a much different performance for Kidd than two weeks ago in Portland, when he was scoreless while missing all six of his shots -- five of them 3-pointers -- before getting a couple of games off to rest for the postseason.

"Spectacular," Carlisle said. "We had some guys that didn't play their best games, but Jason Kidd played the game of the year to this point. Every shot he made, every play he made was absolutely essential for us. His leadership is something you can't quantify."

Game notes


Portland has lost 14 of its past 16 road playoff games. ... After Rudy Fernandez opened Portland's scoring in the second quarter with a 3-pointer for a 25-23 lead, Peja Stojakovic hit consecutive 3s for Dallas. The second one hit front rim and bounced high in the air before falling through the hoop.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
POR
DAL
Points 81 89
FGM-FGA 35-76 (.461) 27-66 (.409)
3PM-3PA 2-16 (.125) 10-19 (.526)
FTM-FTA 9-13 (.692) 25-29 (.862)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-40 10-39
Assists 22 14
Turnovers 14 13
Steals 7 5
Blocks 3 7
Fast Break Points 13 8
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (0/0) 16 (1/0)
Largest Lead 6 10

Top Performers

Portland
Dallas
LaMarcus Aldridge Aldridge
Points: 27
Reb: 6
Ast: 2
Stl: 1
Blk: 1
Jason Kidd Kidd
Points: 24
Reb: 5
Ast: 4
Stl: 2
Blk: 1

Research Notes

Dirk Nowitzki finished 13 for 13 from the free throw line, with all of them coming in the fourth quarter. The 13 made free thows are the most by a player in the fourth quarter of a playoff game over the last 15 seasons. The previous best was 11, held by Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade and Paul Pierce.
  [+]
Dirk Nowitzki put the Mavericks on his back and guided them to the foul line and more importantly, the victory. He scored 18 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter -- 13 of which came from the free-throw line. He didn't have a free-throw attempt through the first three quarters.
  [+]
Dirk Nowitzki: 40th career playoff game with at least 25 points and 10 rebounds. Since Nowitzki's rookie season (1998-99), only Shaquille O'Neal (62) and Tim Ducnan (54) have more such games.

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