Sacramento wins series 4-1 (Game 3 of 5)

Sacramento wins series 4-1

Game 1: Sunday, April 18th
Game 2: Tuesday, April 20th
Game 3: Saturday, April 24th
Game 4: Monday, April 26th
Game 5: Thursday, April 29th

Kings 79

(55-27, 21-20 away)

Mavericks 104


6:00 PM ET, April 24, 2004

American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

1 2 3 4 T
SAC 25 17 17 2079
DAL 33 16 34 21104

Top Performers

Sac: M. Bibby 22 Pts, 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

Dal: D. Nowitzki 21 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Stl

Mavs rookie leads three 20-point scorers

DALLAS (AP) -- Playing with the desperation of a team facing elimination, even though they weren't, the Dallas Mavericks began climbing back into their first-round series against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.

And it took an undrafted rookie to get them going.

Marquis Daniels shook, spun and shot his way to 11 of his 22 points during a third-quarter spurt that deflated the Kings and sent the Mavericks to a 104-79 victory in Game 3.

Dallas, down 2-1 in the series, has a chance to even it in Game 4 Monday night. Game 5 in Sacramento is on Thursday night.

The Mavs came in confident of getting a lift merely by being at home, where they were a league-best 36-5 this season. They got off to a great start, too, yet led by only seven at halftime and had plenty of things going wrong, starting with four fouls on point guard Steve Nash.

His extended minutes, despite the mounting fouls, was a clear indication of the importance Dallas coach Don Nelson put on avoiding an 0-3 hole, something no team in league history has overcome. Nelson also hardly rested Dirk Nowitzki after he got two fouls the first eight minutes.

The Kings were lucky to be so close at the half. Peja Stojakovic had just five points and Doug Christie and Vlade Divac were scoreless. Sacramento coach Rick Adelman had to figure his players would start clicking sooner or later.

But Dallas opened the third quarter with far more energy and never let up, while the Kings just seemed to give up.

Sacramento overcame an early burst to get back within 11, then Nash hit a wide-open 3-pointer to start an 11-0 run and the game was never close again.

Sacramento took itself out by making just 4-of-16 shots in the third quarter, missing its last seven. The Kings, who never led, came within two points of matching their lowest total of the season.

A big problem was their inability to contain Daniels.

He opened the third with a 20-footer, then shook different defenders to swish two jumpers in the lane. He added a reverse layup in transition and followed with a three-point play on a fast break.

Daniels, who became a starter for the last 12 games of the regular season, was 10-of-20 and often ran the offense, easing the burden on Nash.

Nowitzki remained a consistent force with 21 points and Michael Finley added 18, one shy of his total for the first two games. Nash had seven points, five rebounds and five assists in just 27 minutes. He also never got a fifth foul, much less a sixth.

Eduardo Najera again provided a spark off the bench, frustrating Chris Webber with his tight defense. He provided three steals and three fouls in nine minutes. Antawn Jamison scored 20 and Josh Howard, another rookie, contributed 14 rebounds.

Sacramento's Mike Bibby showed no signs of a strained hip sustained in practice Friday, scoring 22 points. He had 15 of Sacramento's 25 first-quarter points, making six straight shots along the way.

Webber playing on the court where last postseason he sustained the knee injury that kept him out for much of this season, was 9-for-17 for 22 points.

But Webber and Bibby got little help.

Stojakovic was 2-for-9 for seven points, Divac 1-for-5 for four and Christie missed his first eight shots, including three 1-footers.

Midway through the fourth, Christie was Sacramento's only starter on the court in a quest to regain his touch. He made his last two shots to finish with five points.

Game notes

Nash hasn't fouled out in five seasons or in his previous 100 career playoff games. ... The second quarter was such a brick-fest (7-of-23 by Sacramento, 7-of-22 for Dallas) that only Webber and Nowitzki made more than one field goal. ... NBA vice president Stu Jackson presented Jamison with the Sixth Man award before tipoff.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 79 104
FGM-FGA 28-75 (.373) 40-100 (.400)
3PM-3PA 2-12 (.167) 3-10 (.300)
FTM-FTA 21-31 (.677) 21-28 (.750)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-46 23-56
Assists 11 20
Turnovers 26 17
Steals 11 19
Blocks 4 4
Fast Break Points 6 7
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (1/0) 27 (0/0)

Top Performers

Mike Bibby Bibby
Points: 22
Reb: 3
Ast: 2
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
Points: 21
Reb: 8
Ast: 0
Stl: 2
Blk: 0