Dallas wins series 4-3 (Game 5 of 7)

Dallas wins series 4-3

Game 1: Saturday, April 19th
Trail Blazers86Final
Game 2: Wednesday, April 23rd
Trail Blazers99Final
Game 3: Friday, April 25th
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Game 4: Sunday, April 27th
Trail Blazers98
Game 5: Wednesday, April 30th
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Game 6: Friday, May 2nd
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Game 7: Sunday, May 4th
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Trail Blazers 103

(50-32, 23-18 away)

    7:30 PM ET, April 30, 2003

    American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    POR 15 28 28 32103
    DAL 21 29 27 2299

    Top Performers

    Por: D. Stoudamire 19 Pts, 8 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Dal: D. Nowitzki 35 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Stl

    Blazers win second straight to force Game 6

    DALLAS (AP) -- The Portland Trail Blazers are trying to carve a new image: The never-say-die underdogs.

    Scottie Pippen

    The Blazers, faced with the daunting prospect of trying to win four straight elimination games, rode the return of Scottie Pippen to a 103-99 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night to get within 3-2 in their first-round series.

    Despite not leading for the first 46 minutes, 55 seconds, the Blazers didn't give up. That attitude was typified by Rasheed Wallace, who didn't flinch after leaving a 3-pointer short.

    The rebound came right to him, and Wallace nailed a second try from nearly the same spot to put Portland up 99-98 with 1:05 left. The Blazers led the rest of the way, sending the series back to Portland for Game 6 Friday night and continuing their quest to become the first NBA team to overcome a 3-0 deficit.

    "We're just hooping it up, nothing else,'' said Wallace, who scored 18. "Y'all wrote us off. We're the only cats that believe. We're going to keep doing what we're doing.''

    The Mavericks have to figure out how a series that was going so right has gone so wrong, so fast -- and how to stop it.

    "It's no time to panic,'' said Dirk Nowitzki, who led Dallas with 35 points -- 13 in the fourth quarter. "We've already won one up there, and now we've got to go and steal another one.''

    "We have to get back to playing confidently, like we did in the first three games,'' said Mavs point guard Steve Nash, who continued to struggle with his shot. "We're still a good team and we're still up 3-2.''

    Until the final stretch, Dallas' lead was only challenged when Portland tied it at 2, 66 and 69. Each time, the Mavericks answered with a basket on their next possession.

    But they were out of answers after Wallace's go-ahead shot.

    Ruben Patterson blocked a layup by Eduardo Najera, leading to two free throws by Zach Randolph that stretched the lead to 101-98 with 39 seconds left.

    Nowitzki had a chance for a three-point play that could've tied it as Wallace hacked him and fouled out. But Nowitzki missed a short bank shot -- then clanked his first foul shot. The second free throw became the only point Dallas scored in the final 2:36.

    Arvydas Sabonis sealed the victory by tipping in a miss by Bonzi Wells with 10.3 seconds left, making it a four-point game. It was the only field goal for Sabonis, who missed the previous game with a back injury and played only nine minutes. He went in as Wallace's replacement.

    As the game ended, Portland's Damon Stoudamire threw up his arms and let out a scream that could be heard across the court as the stunned crowd of 20,438 -- a third straight team record -- turned silent.

    "It was a great win,'' said Stoudamire, who had 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists. "We feel like we've made it a series. Before this, it wasn't. We're going home with a lot of momentum.''

    A source of Portland's energy wears No. 33, owns six championship rings and hadn't played since the opener.

    Pippen returned in the second quarter, but lasted only three minutes. After halftime, he rode a bike behind the bench to loosen up, then went in for the final 15 seconds of the third period -- and never came out. He finished with nine points, five assists and two rebounds. It was as effective as he's been in four games since returning from surgery on his left knee.

    "I did all right for an old man,'' Pippen said. "I'm keeping it live.''

    Randolph had 22 points and nine rebounds, both team-bests. Wells had 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Wallace had 14 points and four rebounds.

    Nash followed a scoreless Game 4 with seven points. He went 2-for-11 -- with one of the makes coming on a goaltending -- but contributed 11 assists.

    Finley, coming off a seven-point game, had 13 of Dallas' first 17 but finished with 15 points and only three rebounds. He played only the final 1:05 in the fourth quarter.

    Nick Van Exel buoyed the offense with 25 points on 9-of-18 shooting, and Najera had eight points and five rebounds.

    Dallas missed a chance for a sweep by getting outscored 33-10 in the third quarter of Game 4.

    This time, the fourth quarter was the difference as the Blazers won it 32-22, outscoring the Mavs 12-3 in the final 3:46.

    "We just couldn't get a stop,'' Nowitzki said. "We just couldn't find a way to guard them in the last couple of minutes. That's where you win games.''

    Game notes

    The Blazers won the rebounding battle 48-32 and had 26 second-chance points, a byproduct of their hustle. ... Wallace and Dale Davis got technicals in the first 1:48 of the third quarter, neither anywhere near the ball. ... The Mavericks missed a chance to wrap up a playoff series at home for the first time since May 19, 1988, when they knocked off Denver in six games in the second round. ... The Blazers improved to 8-3 when wearing the red road uniforms they last wore regularly in 1984-85.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 103 99
    FGM-FGA 39-86 (.453) 36-73 (.493)
    3PM-3PA 7-25 (.280) 3-11 (.273)
    FTM-FTA 18-23 (.783) 24-29 (.828)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 20-48 11-32
    Assists 23 18
    Turnovers 16 11
    Steals 6 6
    Blocks 5 2
    Fast Break Points 7 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (3/0) 24 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Damon Stoudamire Stoudamire
    Points: 19
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2
    Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
    Points: 35
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0