DALLAS, April 30 (Ticker) -- Rasheed Wallace
let his shooting do the
Wallace's second-chance 3-pointer with 1:05 remaining lifted the
Portland Trail Blazers to a 103-99 victory over the Dallas
Mavericks as they again staved off elimination in their Western
Conference first-round series.
NBA TV highlights from|
Dunk of the Night:
Play of the Day:
The sixth-seeded Trail Blazers became the first team since the
2000 Philadelphia 76ers to win twice after losing the first
three games of a best-of-seven matchup. They can even the
series with a win at home Friday.
"We just hoopin'," Wallace said. "Bottom line, that's all we
can say. We just hoopin'. Y'all (media) and a bunch of other
people do the talking. We just got to go out here and keep
doing what we're doing."
"Now we have a series," Dallas coach Don Nelson said. "They are
gaining momentum and we have to find a way to find a way to
After Sunday's home win over Dallas kept alive Portland's
season, Wallace - who regularly shuns the media - answered a
series of questions with the phrase, "Both teams played hard."
He also ducked reporters after Monday's practice and was fined
$30,000 by the NBA.
Wallace was looking at five months of avoiding the media as
Portland trailed, 98-94, with 2:38 remaining after a layup by
, who led Dallas with 35 points and 11 rebounds.
But Zach Randolph
made a lane jumper and the Blazers got back
the ball. An inbounds play set up Wallace in the left corner
for an open 3-pointer, which he missed. But the rebound bounced
right back to him, and - with 23 seconds on the 24-second clock
- he fired another that dropped to give Portland its first
"We was playing hard. That's what the hell we was doing,"
Wallace said. "It was just shooting. It was a big shot. Just
The Blazers expected Wallace to put it right back up there.
"Rasheed is our go-to guy and no matter how he shot the ball, we
always believe in him making his next shot," Portland guard
said. "If he misses that shot, it's probably not
a good shot. But he made it and it was a great shot."
"That's a normal shot for him. That's what he takes," guard
added. "The ball came back to him and he
knocked that down. We got a break. We haven't gotten breaks
all year, but we got a break tonight."
blocked a layup by Eduardo Najera
made two free throws for a 101-98 advantage with 39 seconds to
As Nowitzki was splitting a pair of free throws seven seconds
later, Portland coach Maurice Cheeks inserted the 7-3 Arvydas
. The move panned out as Sabonis tipped in a miss by
Bonzi Wells to seal it with 10 seconds left. It was his only
basket of the game.
Randolph scored 22 points and Wallace added 10 of his 14 in the
fourth quarter as the Blazers beat the Mavericks at a bit of
their own game. They trailed by nine points midway through the
final period but drained four 3-pointers.
Portland also got an emotional lift from Pippen, who has been
nursing a knee injury and played for just the second time in the
series. In 16 minutes off the bench, he had nine points and
five assists and made a big 3-pointer down the stretch.
"Scottie Pippen was a big factor in the game, even though he
played limited minutes," Nelson said. "He was able to guard and
his length has always given us problems."
"I feel like we have some momentum right now," said Pippen, who
played for the first time since Game One. "We have been able to
stretch this series out the way we wanted to. Now we have an
opportunity to go back home and defend our home court and push
this series to the limit. Right now, we have a lot of
confidence we can do that."
Nick Van Exel
scored 25 points and Michael Finley
added 15 for
the Mavericks, whose once-deep rotation is down to seven
players. Van Exel and Eduardo Najera were the only reserves
used by Nelson.
"This is no time to panic now," Nowitzki said. "We already won
one up there in Portland. What we are trying to do again is go
up there and steal another one. We'll see."
Although Dallas never trailed until the waning moments, it never
could pull away. Nowitzki and Van Exel carried the offense,
and the Mavs scored eight of the final 10 points of the third
quarter to take a 77-71 lead into the final period.
A 3-pointer by Van Exel and turnaround jumper by Nowitzki gave
Dallas a 92-83 lead before Portland rallied. Pippen had a
3-pointer and layup around a jumper by Nowitzki, and Wallace's
3-pointer cut the deficit to 94-91 with 4:01 left.
Nowitzki made two free throws, but Wells made a 3-pointer to cut
the deficit to 96-94 with 3:23 remaining.
Damon Stoudamire scored 19 points, Wells added 15 and Dale Davis
10 for the Blazers, who shot 45 percent (39-of-86) and
dominated on the glass, 48-32. Randolph had nine rebounds and
the 5-10 Stoudamire, Wells and Davis swept eight apiece.
"Everyone that comes out there is starting to rebound the ball,"
Cheeks said. "We get rebounds from our guards, we get rebounds
from our big guys. That's really the difference right now; we
have been able to rebound the ball."
Dallas shot 49 percent (36-of-73) and made 24-of-29 free throws.
Mavs All-Star guard Steve Nash, who is nursing a hip injury,
handed out 11 assists but scored just seven points on 2-of-11
"When Nash gets banged up, his shot seems to go," Nelson said.
"He is a little nicked up. Everyone is."