The Dallas Mavericks
got knocked on their heels early. The shots weren't falling and Portland found Gerald Wallace's hot hand and rode it.
And then something strange happened -- Chris Johnson hit Dirk with a move that's not even legal in the NFL, earning himself a Flagrant-1. Dallas took
control from there. And in the fourth Portland took it back. Score 85-84 with about five minutes left. Then Kidd sank a 3, the good guys got
stops, Portland played the foul game, and lost. Final 103-96, and Dallas takes the series 4-2. Round 2 starts Monday -- lookout Los Angeles, here
come the Mavericks.
The Game, in brief . . .
"The way the game started was tough. Getting down 12 early, that's some real adversity, but everybody stuck together. Nobody hung their heads.
Everybody kept encouraging each other. We played possession by possession, as the game went on, we gained momentum." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"This whole series, any time we made a mistake, they made us pay. Tonight, they made big shot after shot. Last game, it was offensive rebounding. The
goal was to get back to Dallas. I felt if we could do that we could win that game, but we didn't. So we end the way we ended the last two years."
-Coach Nate McMillan
“I think everybody played their hearts out tonight. I though everybody gave it their all, we put it on the line. They just made more plays than us."
"They did what they were supposed to do and we didn't." -Gerald Wallace
"We knew they were tough, they were well-coached, and they kept making plays. Their fans were unbelievable, always pushing them forward. Like I said,
they're a bunch of guys with a lot of pride, and they gave us everything we could handle." -Dirk Nowitzki
About Gerald Wallace -- scored Portland's first nine points, finished with 32 . . .
"I didn't want to go home. I wanted to get myself going early, try to get some energy going for my teammates, and let them feed off me. I did a pretty
good job of that." -Gerald Wallace
Gulp -- Game Four flashbacks?
“We were communicating down the stretch and really trying to show them different looks. Game 4 really prepared us for that. As much as we were
embarrassed, in the long run, I think it was a good thing that it happened because we were in the same situation and the big thing is nobody panicked.
Even just up one, we just kept playing." -Jason Kidd
“The difference between tonight and the other night is the fourth quarter the other night we backed up. We allowed them to roll the ball in, we
allowed Brandon Roy to get to his sweet spot. Tonight, we started picking them up fullcourt.” -Tyson Chandler
"They made a run in the fourth. We've had teams make runs at us all year, but there wasn't going to be a miracle tonight." -Coach Rick Carlisle
Regarding Dallas's one-two punch of Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki . . .
"Their two main go-to guys did what they're supposed to do for a team -- Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki, every time they needed a basket, they'd find a
way to get 'em a basket. Dirk made some tough shots, some fadeaways on L.A. that were really tough. Terry just kinda picked us apart on the
pick-and-roll." -Gerald Wallace
About Jason Terry's terrific 22 point, 8 assist night . . .
"Individually, hey, tonight summed it up for me, started out 0-for-4, but stick with it. Defensively, this probably was my best series since I've been
a Maverick . . . Coach has been challenging me and telling me regardless of what happens on offense, defensively we need you out, alert, really taking
ownership in your matchups. They gave me a big assignment guarding Brandon Roy three out of the five games and I thought I held my own." -Jason Terry
"He had a great series. He was shooting the ball, making plays, finding guys. Defensively, he was great. So now we got to build on it and keep him
going." -Jason Kidd
. . . except for a few oopsies late in the fourth quarter . . .
"It was unbelievable. Hey, that's part of adversity. In years past maybe we lose the game because of that turnover." -Jason Terry
"I'm just thinking about tackling him. That's my boy, though. You know I love him to death. He came down the stretch for us though. He's the type of
player that can make a mistake like that and for some reason or another it gets him fired up." -Tyson Chandler
Professional respect from the enemy . . .
"People talked about us having the edge on them, but they had a great regular season and then they lost Dirk for nine games; if they didn't lose him,
they could've had the best record in the league.” -LaMarcus Aldridge
About LaMarcus Aldridge, future megastar of the NBA . . .
"He's a big-time player. I think he's established himself as a big-time player in this league. His repetoire is just growing and growing. I told him
after the game, you've had a heckuva year. I just congratulated him on all his success and what he's been able to accomplish as a basketball player."
Early fourth quarter -- Nowitzki made a shot, Aldridge made a shot, Nowitzki made a shot, Aldridge made a shot . . .
“For the first six minutes we were just trading baskets with them and it seemed like it was just the Dirk and LaMarcus Aldridge show." -Shawn Marion
Little plays that won the game . . .
"The Jason Kidd three really to me was the big shot of the game . . . The block was a big play there when they had a little momentum, but we all -- at
some point in the fourth quarter -- somebody came up with a big play for us. That's what you have to do to win a tough game on the road. Everybody at
some point has a big block or just a big box out or a big bucket on the other end." -Dirk Nowitzki
On knocking the 2-18 On The Road In The Playoffs monkey off their backs . . .
“It’s definitely big for our confidence to win a road game in the playoffs. We haven’t done it for a while so we definitely needed one. In this
league, if you have a chance to close out a team, you always want to go for it.” -Dirk Nowitzki
"It's huge for us. I think it shows growth and our progress throughout the season. Early in the season we wouldn't've been strong enough to finish
this out. It seemed like we got stronger and stronger game by game, and because of that we were able to win the series." -Tyson Chandler
A moment, please, to salute the 2010-2011 Portland Trailblazers . . .
“I think with all the adversity we faced, it was a good year. But for us personally, this wasn’t all that we wanted. We wanted to advance and we
wanted to go to the second round.” -LaMarcus Aldridge
No hard feelings, we hope . . .
“[The fans] were great. When we won and were walking off the court, a lot of them were yelling, 'Go beat LA.'" -Dirk Nowitzki
Looking back and looking ahead, or this was just a warm-up . . .
“Not a lot of people picked us to win this series and not a lot of people are going to pick us to win the next series. We're just gonna go out there
and keep competing, play smart and play off each other like we have all season and we'll see what happens . . . They’re going to try to do the same
thing Portland did and that’s being physical. We can’t let that bother us. We can’t lose our composure like we did in the last game there. We got to
fight through that stuff." -Dirk Nowitzki
“We knew it was gonna be a brutally hard series, but we also knew it was what we needed. We also knew that we needed to beat them and do it in a way
that was in character with a team that deserved to move on. And so, we don’t want anything coming our way easy, and coincidentally the next team we’re
playing is not gonna be easy either.” -Coach Rick Carlisle
"Going to play against the Lakers is something I've dreamed of since I was a little kid, so it's gonna be an exciting series." -Tyson Chandler
“This is what an NBA player always dreams about. The road to the championship always goes through the champion." -Jason Terry
And the Bottom Line . . .
“It’s one round, obviously, and we’re happy we won, but we’ve got bigger goals and aspirations." -Jason Terry
“We started the season saying that a championship is our goal. To do that, we’ve got to get out of the first round We finally got [a road win] and
we’re moving on." -Dirk Nowitzki
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