DALLAS, April 24 (Ticker) --
With Michael Finley
hampered by injuries,
rookie Marquis Daniels
has become part of the Dallas Mavericks'
"Big Three" in the playoffs.
NBA TV highlights from|
Daniels scored 11 of his 22 points in the decisive third quarter
as the Mavericks pulled within 2-1 in their first-round playoff
series against the Sacramento Kings with a 104-79 victory.
The Mavericks' high-powered offense is led by the talented trio
of All-Star Dirk Nowitzki
, point guard Steve Nash
who has been bothered by bruised ribs and back spasms. With
Finley a bit banged up, Daniels has picked up the slack,
becoming the team's second-leading postseason scorer.
Antawn Jamison dropped in 20 points for Dallas in Game 3.|
Glenn James/NBAE/Getty Images
Daniels has scored 51 points on 21-of-50 shooting while grabbing
19 rebounds in his first three playoff games.
"I think an awful lot of him," Dallas coach Don Nelson said.
"He took what was there and really settled down in the second
half. We did more things through him tonight. He responded with
an excellent game."
Dallas never trailed but put away the game in the third quarter,
when it scored 34 points on 12-of-23 shooting. Daniels made
5-of-6 shots in the period as the Mavericks turned a seven-point
halftime edge into an 83-59 cushion.
"I was getting to post up more and use my height advantage," the
6-6 Daniels said. "I just wanted to be aggressive once I did
get the ball and just take my time with the shots."
Sacramento made just 4-of-16 shots in the third quarter,
including 1-of-8 3-pointers. It scored just 27 points in the
second half and trailed by as many as 29.
"It is important how teams come out in the third quarter,"
Sacramento forward Chris Webber
said. "(The Mavericks) played a
great game and took it from us."
Nowitzki had 21 points and Antawn Jamison
, who left Game Two
with tight hamstrings, scored 20 for Dallas, which posted the
NBA's best home record during the regular season.
"We felt like we let two games slip away in Sacramento and we
wanted to come in and defend our home court," Jamison said. "We
wanted to bring a lot of energy and feed off the fans."
Finley scored 18 points, despite the nagging injuries, but Nash
was limited to seven and five assists.
Webber and Mike Bibby
scored 22 points apiece to lead the Kings,
who shot just 36 percent (28-of-75) from the floor and
committed 26 turnovers.
"We have to have more movement," Sacramento coach Rick Adelman
said. "Unless (the Mavericks) became Detroit, Indiana and San
Antonio rolled into one, a lot of it has to do with us."
Kings All-Star Peja Stojakovic
was scoreless in the second half
and finished with just seven points on 2-of-9 shooting in 31
minutes. Doug Christie
made only 2-of-10 shots, scoring all
five of his points in the fourth quarter.
Game Four is Monday at Dallas.