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Mavs try to forge new playoff identity

Dallas can send message in Game 2 that it's tough enough to win in postseason

Updated: April 19, 2011, 12:54 AM ET
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks made a statement by strongly closing out Game 1 in the final four minutes. Tuesday's Game 2 provides the chance to throw down an enforcer-type exclamation that few around the league may believe rumbles inside this team.

Contrary to the pontifications of many prognosticators prior to the start of this series against the No. 6-seed Portland Trail Blazers, the No. 3-seed Mavs are no underdog. They won 57 games to Portland's 48. They are the higher seed. They have ...

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