Final / 2OT

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

Dallas wins series 4-3

Game 1: Tuesday, May 6th
Game 2: Thursday, May 8th
Game 3: Saturday, May 10th
Game 4: Sunday, May 11th
Game 5: Tuesday, May 13th
Game 6: Thursday, May 15th
Game 7: Saturday, May 17th

Mavericks 141


Kings 137

(59-23, 35-6 home)

    Coverage: KXTV

    6:30 PM ET, May 10, 2003

    Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

    1 2 3 4 OT 2OT T
    DAL 23 39 20 31 12 16141
    SAC 36 28 27 22 12 12137

    Top Performers

    Dal: N. Van Exel 40 Pts, 7 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

    Sac: P. Stojakovic 39 Pts, 8 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

    Van Exel, Mavs get it done in double overtime

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Walt Williams could never have imagined he'd be the go-to guy for Dallas in the NBA playoffs.

    Raef LaFrentz

    Vlade Divac attempts to block a shot from Raef LaFrentz during Saturday's game.

    Not on this Mavericks roster. Not when the little-used forward hadn't played until midway through the fourth quarter and wasn't even a factor in the first two games of the series against Sacramento.

    In a desperate move by coach Don Nelson, who was running out of bodies because of foul trouble and injuries, Williams had to play -- and he delivered. Against his first NBA team, no less.

    Williams scored all 10 of his points in two overtimes as the Mavericks defeated the Kings 141-137 Saturday night to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

    "I was surprised to be getting that many shots,'' said Williams, who had a total of two points in the first two games. "Steve (Nash) kept coming back to me. I'm always confident shooting the ball. That's my thing.''

    Nick Van Exel scored 40 points off the bench and Nash had 31 to lead four Dallas players with at least 20 points.

    The Mavs rallied from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit, then prevailed in two back-and-forth extra periods to beat an inspired Kings team determined to show it could win without star Chris Webber, who is out for the rest of the playoffs with an injured knee.

    Dirk Nowitzki, averaging 27.9 points in the playoffs, had 25 points and 20 rebounds. He scored 24 in the Mavs' 132-110 victory in Game 2 on Thursday, in which they scored an NBA playoff-record 83 points in the first half. Nowitzki made several pretty turnaround jumpers on Saturday night, and almost always did it with a hand in his face.

    Webber, limping around the sideline in a brown pinstriped suit, sighed, and his look said it all.

    Dallas put up 42 shots from 3-point range, breaking the NBA playoff record by eight. The Mavs made 19 of them, falling short of the Phoenix Suns' 1996 mark by one. Van Exel was 6-of-12, and Nash and Michael Finley each were 5-of-10.

    Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Sunday night.

    Peja Stojakovic delivered the brilliant performance the Kings desperately needed, but Sacramento couldn't convert when it counted the most.

    Stojakovic scored a career playoff-high 39 points to go with eight rebounds and four assists. Six other players scored in double figures for Sacramento, with Vlade Divac finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Doug Christie added 18 points, including two big 3-pointers in the first overtime.

    Divac sat most of the fourth quarter with a right elbow stinger. He wrapped it and iced it and returned to the game with 1:17 left in regulation.

    The Kings missed 12 free throws, including two by Divac with 27.6 seconds left in regulation. The Mavs went 16-of-20.

    "It was a really tough loss,'' Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. "We had three or four chances to win. We couldn't get it done. You can say it was our missed free throws or it was their 3-point shooting. We didn't do enough to win the game, and they did.''

    Webber, a five-time All-Star, will require arthroscopic surgery on his knee, but his teammates are holding out hope he could return during the playoffs.

    The Kings said in order to win without their go-to forward, they would have to take the ball aggressively to the basket and rebound well -- and they did both effectively early in the game to build a quick lead.

    To the thrill of the 17,317 fans at Arco Arena, the Kings shot 71 percent in the first quarter, playing pressure defense and beating the Mavs in transition.

    Dallas came back with 39 points in the second quarter, but unlike the lopsided first two games, there was plenty of defense in Game 3. Most shots were heavily contested or forced up against the shot clock, and there were several offensive fouls.

    After its outstanding start, Sacramento got sloppy in the second quarter, making some bad decisions on offense and some silly fouls on defense. The Kings also didn't rebound as well, giving the Mavs more second -- and even third -- chances.

    Sacramento tried to pull away in the fourth quarter, but the Mavs climbed back, and Nash's 3-pointer with 2:25 left tied it at 109. Bibby then made a 3-pointer with 1 minute remaining, but Van Exel tied it again with a runner in the lane with 3.8 seconds left, sending the game to overtime.

    Williams, averaging 3.5 points in the playoffs, hadn't been a factor in the first two games, but he hit some huge shots in the OTs. He dunked twice, including a slam on a pass from Nash that tied it at 125-all with 16.3 seconds left in the first overtime.

    He also hit two 3-pointers in the extra periods, including one with 58.2 seconds left in the second one that put Dallas ahead 138-133.

    "I was searching, to be quite honest,'' Nelson said of his thoughts when he looked down the bench. "I basically ran out of guys. He was cold. It wasn't fair to him. But he was open and made some shots.''

    Game notes

    Dallas forward Adrian Griffin sprained an ankle but will play Sunday. ... Nelson wore a light purple button-up shirt and a dark purple tie. When asked why he was wearing Kings colors, he said: "These are Lakers colors, in reverence for Phil,'' referring to Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who had an angioplasty on Saturday to clear an artery that was 90 percent blocked. ... New York Yankees ace Roger Clemens showed up after the first quarter and took a seat in the front row, only hours after pitching a win over Oakland for his 298th career victory. He was booed. Reggie Jackson also attended.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 141 137
    FGM-FGA 53-110 (.482) 52-108 (.481)
    3PM-3PA 19-42 (.452) 9-26 (.346)
    FTM-FTA 16-20 (.800) 24-36 (.667)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-47 16-60
    Assists 28 25
    Turnovers 10 14
    Steals 7 5
    Blocks 2 1
    Fast Break Points 5 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 31 (2/0) 25 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Nick Van Exel Van Exel
    Points: 40
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Peja Stojakovic Stojakovic
    Points: 39
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0