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Mavericks eliminate Blazers in Portland

Apr 29, 2011 - 6:26 AM Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki posted 33 points and 11 rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks clinched their first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers with a 103-96 Game 6 victory at the Rose Garden.

The Mavericks halted an eight-game road playoff losing streak, and with their 4-2 series win advanced to the Western Conference semifinals, where they will face off against the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers starting on Monday.

Jason Terry contributed 22 points and eight assists, and Shawn Marion scored 16 for Dallas, which had lost in the first round of the playoffs three of the previous four years.

Gerald Wallace, who missed the entire second quarter with back issues, paced Portland with 32 points and 12 rebounds. LaMarcus Aldridge chipped in 24 and 10, while Wesley Matthews added 19 points in defeat.

Portland pulled off a remarkable 23-point comeback at home in Game 4, and nearly duplicated the feat on Thursday, cutting a 17-point second-half deficit to one midway through the fourth quarter.

The Blazers trailed 75-62 heading into the final stanza and scored nine of the first 11 points to pull within six.

Wallace ended an 8-0 spurt a little later by sending an already standing Rose Garden crowd into a frenzy with a steal and slam to cut the deficit to 86-85.

Jason Kidd, though, answered with a silencing three-pointer, and Terry followed an unsuccessful Portland possession with a step-back jumper.

After Wallace made two free throws, Aldridge had a chance to bring the hosts within two, but the 79-percent free throw shooter throughout the regular season missed two critical foul shots with 2:34 showing.

Marion's baby hook over Brandon Roy in the lane preceded two more free throws from Wallace and Terry's pull-up jumper from 14 feet.

Matthews and Wallace missed three-pointers the next two times down, and Nowitzki sealed the win by going 8-for-8 at the foul line in the final 30.3 seconds.

"This is the loudest place I've ever been. For our guys to hang in and win in this environment is huge for us," Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said. "Nowitzki, Kidd and Terry were not going to let us lose this game."

Wallace totaled 13 points and six rebounds in the first quarter, helping the Blazers jump out to a 27-19 lead.

But back issues forced the imposing forward to the locker room in the second, and Chris Johnson's flagrant foul on Nowitzki 3 1/2 minutes into the frame seemed to bring Dallas to life.

"[Johnson] tried to punch me in the face. They wanted to be physical with us, but this was our moment," Nowitzki said. "They gave us all we could handle."

The Mavericks trailed 33-25 at the time of the foul, and scored 10 of the next 12 points to tie the game, 35-35, on a J.J. Barea layup. A 9-2 spurt in the final 1:35 of the half -- capped by Terry's buzzer-beating three-pointer -- provided the visitors with a 52-43 advantage.

"I didn't want to go home. I wanted my teammates to feed off me. I did an up- and-under move [in the first quarter] and my back just locked ... I feel I let the team down. We lost some of our momentum," a disappointed Wallace said.

Despite Wallace making his return in the third, the Blazers never threatened. With under two minutes left in the quarter, Terry made consecutive buckets late to give Dallas its biggest lead, 73-56.

Game Notes

The home team in this series had won the previous nine meetings this season... Nowitzki went 11-for-17 from the field and 11-for-11 from the foul line...Kidd ended with seven points and six assists...Wallace's previous playoff career- high was 25 points...Dallas was 1-8 at the Rose Garden in the playoffs coming in...The Blazers have lost in the first round in each of their last six postseason appearances, last winning a series during the 2000 playoffs.