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Dallas Mavericks (2-0) at Portland Trail Blazers (0-2), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Dallas Mavericks look to take a commanding 3-0 series
lead on Friday when they head to Portland to battle the Trail Blazers in Game
3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal set.
The Mavs captured the first two games on their home court, posting a 96-86
victory in the series opener before claiming a 103-99 win on Wednesday at
However, the Mavs are just 9-40 all-time in Portland and have dropped 13 of
their last 15 in the Rose City.
In Game 2 Wednesday, Steve Nash scored 28 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 25 to
help the Mavs hold off Portland.
Nash was 5-of-6 from three-point territory and 10-of-14 from the field
overall. He also dished out a game-high eight assists for Dallas, which shot
49 percent from the floor and made almost half of its three-point attempts.
Portland, which rallied to make a game of it after halftime, received a
career-high and franchise playoff-best 45 points from Bonzi Wells. He shot 16-
of-24 from the field, including 5-of-6 from three-point range, and 8-of-11
from the stripe for the Blazers.
Portland grabbed its first lead since late in the opening stanza when Wells
drained a turn-around jumper to give the Blazers a 73-72 lead just a minute
into the fourth. Dallas briefly regained its lead later at 76-75, but didn't
truly take hold of the game until Nash's three at the 7:00 mark gave the Mavs
an 82-80 advantage.
Dallas fell into a tie several times after that, but never again relinquished
the lead. Portland's biggest threat came with 48 seconds remaining when Dale
Davis completed a three-point play to pull the Blazers even at 98-98. But Nash
strolled down the other end and calmly drained a three to give Dallas the lead
for good at 101-98.
Michael Finley added 17 points for Dallas. Eduardo Najera and Nick Van Exel
chipped in 12 points apiece off the Mavericks' bench.
Rasheed Wallace scored 18 points and Davis grabbed 15 rebounds for the Trail
Blazers, who shot 47 percent from the floor in the game.
The Blazers were without guard Scottie Pippen, who is sidelined with a
lingering pain in his left knee. Meanwhile, Portland also lost Derek Anderson
just three minutes into the game when he was knocked out with a strained right
Both Pippen and Anderson are doubtful for Game 3, meaning the Blazers will
likely be without their starting backcourt Friday.
Portland has dropped nine straight playoff games dating back to 2000.
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