Monday, April 25, 2011

Mavs win 93-82 to take 3-2 series lead over Blazers

By Kshell

The Dallas Mavericks led by Tyson Chandler's offensive rebounding held home court advantage defeating the Portland Trail Blazers 93-82 to take a three games to two lead. Now the Mavericks are just one game away from winning the series. For the Blazers this is the third straight year they trail three games to two. The previous two years the Blazers lost game six which they are hoping to avoid this year. The Mavericks got over the game four collapse by rebounding the ball. The Mavericks had 20 offensive rebounds while attempting 35 free throws including 31 in the first three quarters. The Mavericks played physical with the Blazers who couldn't buy a bucket either to prevail in game five. Tyson Chandler scored 14 points and grabbed 20 rebounds including 13 offensive rebounds to keep several possessions alive for the Mavericks. For the Blazers nobody had a stand out game as they will travel back to Portland hoping this wasn't their last game in Dallas. For the Mavericks they hope to close out the series in Portland on Thursday night at the Rose Garden.

In the first quarter the Blazers knew they were facing a wounded soldier in the Mavericks. The Blazers took the crowd out of the game when trailing 15-12 closed the quarter on a 8-0 run to lead 20-15 end of the first quarter. The Mavericks had a ton of nervous energy in the arena from the game four collapse and previous playoff failures. The Mavericks made just 6-16(37.5%) shots from the field while making just two of six free throws. Only thing keeping the Mavericks in the game was Tyson Chandler who scored seven points and grabbed seven rebounds. Dirk Nowitzki scored just four points on two for five shooting. While the Blazers whot 10-21(47.6%) from the field but didn't attempt a free throw. The Blazers were led by Wesley Matthews who wcored six points on three for four shooting. Gerald Wallace came out aggressive scoring four points on two for four shooting. LaMarcus Aldridge came out slow scoring just two points on one for three shooting. The Blazers did want they wanted to do which was take an early lead and try and take the crowd out of the game. Then in the second half the Blazers let a big opportunity slip away.

The Blazers extended their run to an 11-0 run to take a 23-15 lead over the Mavericks. The tension in the building for the fans you could feel just by watching on t.v. The Blazers had a chance to put the Mavericks away with a good run instead the Mavericks made the run. The Mavericks went on a 14-4 run to take a 29-27 lead. Then with the Blazers leading 43-37 the Mavericks ended the half on a 7-0 run to take the lead 44-43 heading into halftime. In the quarter Nowitzki eight points as he made four of five free throw's. Jason Terry scored seven of his nine points in the second quarter as well. The Mavericks for the quarter shot 10-19(52.6%) from the field and was perfect on eight free throw attempts. The Blazers still shot well making 10-21(47.6%) from the field. The Blazers at halftime had just one free throw attempt while the Mavericks had 14.

For the Blazers despite outplaying the Mavericks found themselves trailing at halftime by a single point. The Blazers were led by Andre Miller with nine points on four for eight shooting including a three point. Miller also dished out five assists. Nicolas Batum came up big in the first half scoring nine points on four for seven shooting with a three pointer. Matthews had six points all from the first quarter. Aldridge had six points along with Wallace who also had six points. The Blazers had shot 20-42(47.6%) from the field while making three of eight from three point range. The Blazers had to be feeling good about their shooting but the Mavericks were more aggressive going to the free throw line 14 times to the Blazers one.

For the Mavericks they were led by Nowitzki who scored 12 points on four for eight shooting including four of five from free throws. Chandler scored seven points on two for two shooting with three of six free throws. Chandler had nine rebounds at halftime. Shawn Marion scored eight points on three for seven shooting. Terry scored nine points on four for seven shooting including a three pointer. The Mavericks shot 16-35(45.7%) from the field and two for five from three point range. The key was making 10 of 14 free throws. In the third quarter the Mavericks would go on a run that would stretch into the fourth quarter to put the Blazers away for good.

In the third quarter started off back and forth as both teams scored 12 points apiece for the Mavericks to hold a slim 56-55 lead. After that the Mavericks ended the quarter on a 19-8 run which for the second straight game destroyed the Blazers in the third quarter. Unlike the last game the Blazers didn't have the home crowd to help them back in the game. The Mavericks outscored the Blazers 31-20 in the third quarter. The Mavericks were led by Nowitzki who scored 11 points in the quarter on three for seven shooting while making five of six free throws. Nowitzki after three quarters had 23 points on 7-15 shooting and was 9-11 at the foul line. Chandler was big in the quarter scoring six points while grabbing four rebounds to give him 13 points and 13 rebounds. The Mavericks shot 13-14 from the free line that quarter and scored 31 points despite not making a single three pointer. The Mavericks would extend their run into the fourth.

The Mavericks put the game away in the fourth quarter by starting the fourth on a 14-6 run to lead 89-69. The Blazers would finally start scoring when the game no longer mattered. The Blazers technically won the quarter 19-18 but the Mavericks had already did the damage winning 93-82. The Mavericks as a team shot 32-78(41.0%) from the field while making just 3-17(17.6%) from three point range. The Mavericks won the game due to making 26-35(74.3%) from the free throw line. The Mavericks outrebounded the Blazers 49-37 with 20 offensive rebounds. The Mavericks were led by Nowitzki who scored 25 points on 8-18 shooting while making 9-11 from the foul line. Terry scored 20 points off the bench on 8-18 shooting while making a three pointer. The X-Factor was Chandler who scored 14 points on three for four shooting while making 8-12 free throws. Chandler also grabbed 20 rebounds including 13 offensive. Marion was big scoring 14 points on 6-14 shooting with four steals and two blocks. Then Jason Kidd who shot bad had a good all around game scoring four points but dished out 14 assists with seven rebounds. For the Mavericks they held homecourt and know at the very worst there will be a game seven at home.

For the Blazers they probably felt like they let one get away. The Blazers outplayed the Mavericks in the first half then got run off the court in the second half. The Blazers were led by Miller who scored 18 points on 8-14 shooting with seven assists. Then Wallace scored 16 points on 5-11 shooting with nine rebounds. Aldridge had just 12 points on 6-15 shooting. He has played poorly the last two games. Batum scored 12 points on 5-12 shooting. Game three hero Matthews had just eight points and two points after the first quarter. While game four hero Brandon Roy had just five points on two for seven shooting. Now the Blazers must return home hoping to win the first game six of Nate McMillan's career. The home crowd should help out with the free throw disparity.

Overall, the Mavericks rebounded nicely from the devastating loss in game four. The Mavericks just controlled the glass especially by Chandler who had 13 offensive rebounds considering the Blazers as a team had just nine offensive rebounds. Chandler is keeping possessions alive and the Mavericks needed that as they didn't shoot very well. The Blazers return home knowing just one more loss and their season will end for the third straight year in the first round in six games. The Blazers will have Rose Garden rocking and hope Brandon Roy can play well at home like he did last time. Typically at home you shoot more free throw's and your role players step up more. So far in this series that has been the case. For the Blazers they have to box out better or they'll be going on vacation sooner than they had liked.


- Well I had praised the play of LaMarcus Aldridge this series but he has been downright terrible the last two games. Today Aldrdige had just 12 points and nine rebounds on 6-15(40.0%) shooting from the field. He didn't attempt a single free throw either.

His scoring has decreased each game this series. For the series now Aldridge is averaging 20.2 PPG while shooting 42-90(46.7%) from the field and just seven rebounds a game. In the last two games Aldridge is averaging just 15.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG while shooting 12-31(38.7%) from the field. For the series Aldridge has attempted just 20 free throws(4.0 attempts per game) which shows he isn't being aggressive at all. Aldridge started this postseason off hot but lately he is looking like the soft Aldridge of old.

- Where Brandon Roy goes this team goes it appears this series. In the Blazers two wins which were both at home Roy has averaged 20.0 PPG on 15-23(65.2%) shooting from the field. While making three three pointers. In the Blazers three losses which have all been on the road Roy is averaging just 2.3 PPG while shooting 3-15(20.0%) from the field.

Now Roy is a former all-star so he isn't one of those good at home while being bad on the road type of role player. I think Roy at this point in his career will show you flashes of 2009 Roy like he did in game four while also showing that is still not healthy like the three losses. The Blazers will need Roy and Aldridge to play their best game in game six to stay alive.

- Tyson Chandler was the big X-Factor today scoring 14 points while grabbing 20 rebounds. Heading into the game today he had scored just 16 points for the series. Chandler got to the line 12 times making eight of them with his 13 offensive rebounds. Going into today Chandler had averaged 3.8 offensive rebounds a game which is pretty high but not 13 high.

Chandler won't score that much again but when he rebounds the Mavericks win and when he is in foul trouble like he was in Portland the Mavericks lost both games. Chandler in the Mavericks three wins is averaging 7.3 PPG and 13.0 RPG. In the two losses Chandler averaged 4.0 PPG and 5.5 RPG with 5.5 fouls a game. So if the refs let Chandler play he will dominate this Blazers team. If the refs call a tight game on Chandler then the Blazers will have a chance to win.

- Nate McMillan's playoff record on the road falls to 3-14 which obviously has to improve if the Blazers wish to advance in this series. McMillan is also 0-3 all-time in game six which is a bad sign for the Blazers. Today nothing McMillan did was the "wrong" move as the Blazers were just getting dominated on the glass. Perhaps he should have played Marcus Camby more than 20 minutes or Chris Johnson more than six minutes. Ultimately the Blazers couldn't box out or hit any shots. McMillan is hoping to get out of the first round for only the second time in his 11 year coaching career.

All in all, the Blazers will return home where they are 4-0 on the year against the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks are hoping to close out a playoff series on the road for the first time since 2009 when they beat the Spurs in five games. The Blazers will need their stars like Roy and Aldridge to step up to have a chance. At home the Blazers crowd will be into it. Eventually going forward the Blazers know they have to defeat the Mavericks in Dallas which they are now 0-5 against. For now it's one game at a time as the Blazers season is now on the line. The Blazers are trying to avoid being eliminated in the first round for the third straight season. The Blazers have only advanced past the first round twice since 1993 so history is against them. All the Blazers have to do is win at home then play a game seven which anything can happen. No time to hold back it's do or die for the Blazers. Game six at the Rose Garden will be rocking hoping the Blazers will be joining the Mavericks on the flight back to Dallas.

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