Quantcast 2011 NBA Western Conference Playoffs: Round One - Dallas vs Portland

 

2011 NBA Playoff Preview – Western Conference First Round

Western Conference First Round Game 6 - Dallas 103, Portland 96 – Mavericks win series, 4-2

 

The Dallas Mavericks, a team with a wobbly and less-than-distinguished postseason history, played against type on Thursday night at the Rose Garden in Portland: They actually managed to drive a dagger through a feisty opponent and avoid a Game 7 situation in which they would have tempted the fates.

Yes, for once, Dallas avoided drama and left behind its inability to win playoff games on the road. Oh, by the way, the Mavericks also got out of the first round of the playoffs, which is something they’ve been able to do only half of the time over the past several seasons. Dirk Nowitzki put on an offensive show and teammate Jason Terry finished off the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night. The Mavericks, who limped into the postseason, silenced a raucous Portland crowd with timely shooting down the stretch. The third-seeded Mavs, overcoming the memory of last year’s first-round exit against San Antonio, were able to do what they couldn’t do in Game 4 of this series last Saturday: find a finishing kick against the backdrop of a raucous Trail Blazer crowd in Rip City.

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After the first quarter it looked as if the Mavericks might just head back to Dallas for a decisive Game 7. However, this year’s assemblage from the Lone Star State would have nothing of it. The Mavericks turned a 27-19 first quarter deficit into a 52-43 halftime advantage by punishing Portland in transition and turning the Blazers into a jump-shooting team. Portland had one last run in it, though. The Blazers cut a 17-point fourth quarter deficit of 73-56 to just an 86-85 disadvantage after a Gerald Wallace breakaway dunk with 5:24 left in the contest. The comeback was eerily reminiscent of the 23-point fightback the Blazers staged in Game 4. This time, though, Portland couldn’t get over the hump, while Dallas took a stand in the final three minutes of play. Terry hit a tough jumper over a taller Portland defender to give Dallas a 91-85 lead just moments after Jason Kidd knocked down a massive three to give the Mavs an 89-85 cushion. Nowitzki then hit eight consecutive free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the deal.

 

 

Nowitzki finished 33 points on 11-of-17 shooting. The star forward also hit each of his 11 free throw attempts. Terry was equally as effective, connecting on 9-of-16 field goal attempts and pouring in 22 points in just 34 minutes of action. The Mavericks shot an even 50 percent on the evening and are now slated for a second round matchup with the defending world champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Three Blazers scored in double figures, led by Gerald Wallace’s 32 points. LaMarcus Aldridge added 24 points but was just 11-of-25 from the field. Wesley Matthews had 19. Portland’s Brandon Roy was unable to rekindle his Game 4 heroics, which saw him score 18 points in the final quarter of a come-from-behind victory. Roy had just nine points, a reminder that his ailing body just won’t allow him to be his old and dominant self every night.

No matter – Roy or no Roy, the Dallas Mavericks took care of business away from home. Now, they’ll get a chance at the champions in a series that will make and break many reputations. The Mavericks hope they’ll make a new reputation as a giant-killer in the NBA.

 

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By: Matt Zemek
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer


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