Final

Dallas wins series 4-3 (Game 3 of 7)

Dallas wins series 4-3

Game 1: Saturday, April 19th
Trail Blazers86Final
Mavericks96
Game 2: Wednesday, April 23rd
Trail Blazers99Final
Mavericks103
Game 3: Friday, April 25th
Mavericks115Final
Trail Blazers103
Game 4: Sunday, April 27th
Mavericks79Final
Trail Blazers98
Game 5: Wednesday, April 30th
Trail Blazers103Final
Mavericks99
Game 6: Friday, May 2nd
Mavericks103Final
Trail Blazers125
Game 7: Sunday, May 4th
Trail Blazers95Final
Mavericks107

Mavericks 115

 

Trail Blazers 103

(50-32, 27-14 home)

    7:30 PM ET, April 25, 2003

    Moda Center, Portland, OR

    1 2 3 4 T
    DAL 30 34 20 31115
    POR 22 39 24 18103

    Top Performers

    Dallas: D. Nowitzki 42 Pts, 10 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Portland: R. Patterson 19 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

    Nowitzki continues to feast on Blazers

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Dirk Nowitzki was amazed at how the Portland Trail Blazers left him so wide open. Especially given his recent history.

    Raef LaFrentz

    Raef LaFrentz had 20 points for the Mavs on Friday.

    Nowitzki had another brilliant offensive performance with 42 points Friday night as the Dallas Mavericks beat Portland 115-103 to take a 3-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.

    Nowitzki, who had a career-high 46 points in the opener, also had 10 rebounds for the Mavericks, who can advance with a victory in Game 4 in Portland on Sunday.

    "I was actually surprised at how open I was,'' Nowitzki said. "We moved the ball really well and every one was shooting the ball really well. So we were able to attack them and chase us all over the floor.''

    Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks wasn't about to disagree.

    "He wasn't the only one surprised,'' Cheeks said. "I was surprised, too.''

    Things suddenly look worse for the already injury-plagued Trail Blazers, who couldn't find a way -- again -- to defend Nowitzki and now face the daunting task of trying to become the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-0 deficit.

    The Blazers have lost 10 straight playoff games -- dating back to their collapse against the Lakers in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals in 2000.

    They've lost six in a row under Cheeks, and a loss Sunday would tie the NBA record of 11 consecutive postseason defeats shared by the Baltimore Bullets and Denver Nuggets.

    With Scottie Pippen in street clothes and Derek Anderson out indefinitely because of a knee injury, the Blazers trailed by as many as 14 points.

    But they closed in on Arvydas Sabonis' short jumper and went ahead 85-84 on Zach Randolph's free throws after Eduardo Najera's foul with 32.1 seconds left in the third quarter.

    The two teams traded the lead until Steve Nash's 3-pointer put the Mavericks ahead 91-87 with 9:05 left in the game. Nowitzki followed with the first in a string of three 3-pointers to help put the Mavs ahead 102-94 with 5:58 left.

    Dallas never trailed again.

    "Dirk is absolutely unbelievable,'' said Nick Van Exel, who had 14 points for Dallas. "He shoots 3s where it looks like layups. It's incredible to play with a 7-footer that strokes the ball so perfect.''

    Raef LaFrentz had 20 points for the Mavericks, while Nash finished with 12 points and 10 assists.

    Ruben Patterson led the Blazers with 19 points.

    The smoke from the pre-game fireworks hadn't yet cleared when the Mavs took a 14-4 lead on Nash's 3-pointer in the first quarter, and sellout crowd at the Rose Garden booed.

    Sabonis helped orchestrate a Blazers rally, bringing them within 42-39 with a hook shot. But the 7-foot-3 Lithuanian collected three fouls quickly and went to the bench with a little more than seven minutes to go in the first half.

    The Mavs led by as many as 12 in the half, but Patterson's tip-in made it just 64-61 at the break.

    Pippen, the Portland's on-court leader, watched from courtside for the second straight playoff game.

    Pippen had surgery on his left knee on March 18 and missed 17 games. He returned for the Blazers' final two regular-season games and played 32 minutes in the series opener, but then the pain and swelling came back. Anderson strained his left knee three minutes into Wednesday's 103-99 loss. Cheeks announced earlier Friday that Anderson had a torn meniscus and was out indefinitely.

    The Blazers had won 13 of their previous 15 against the Mavericks in Portland.

    "I'm trying to get a (playoff) win for the first time and we're trying to win that first one,'' Cheeks said. "Like I said to the team, the series isn't over until someone gets four wins.''

    Game notes


    When the young singer of the national anthem had trouble with the words to the song, coach Cheeks walked over to help her and soon the crowd joined in. "I wish I could help some of my players like that,'' Cheeks said. ... Mavericks owner Mark Cuban signed autographs before the game and wore the jersey of guard Michael Finley. ... The Trail Blazers are making their 21st straight trip to the playoffs.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    DAL
    POR
    Points 115 103
    FGM-FGA 42-83 (.506) 33-76 (.434)
    3PM-3PA 13-29 (.448) 6-17 (.353)
    FTM-FTA 18-21 (.857) 31-39 (.795)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-34 21-49
    Assists 27 26
    Turnovers 6 17
    Steals 8 4
    Blocks 2 0
    Fast Break Points 6 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (2/0) 22 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Dallas
    Portland
    Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
    Points: 42
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1
    Ruben Patterson Patterson
    Points: 19
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0