Dirk Nowitzki scored 18 of his game-high 28 points in the 4th quarter, as the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 89-81 in the first game of their Western Conference first-round series on Saturday night.
At one point, Nowitzki scored 12 consecutive points in the 4th, as the Mavericks tied the game and eventually went ahead to stay.
|Photo by: Ronald Martinez|
It should be noted that the last time Dallas and Portland met in the playoffs, the Mavericks took a 3-0 lead in their 2003 first-round series before having to win Game 7 to advance.
By the numbers, Nowitzki should be considered one of the best postseason players of all-time. He needs a ring though if he ever wants to be widely recognized for his playoff productivity.
He's one of only four players in NBA history with career playoff averages of at least 25 points and 10 rebounds. The other three are Bob Pettit, Elgin Baylor and Hakeem Olajuwon. I'd say that's a pretty impressive group of guys to be associated with.
Other playoff action from Saturday:
In Chicago, the Bulls trailed for much of the game against Indiana, but outscored the Pacers 33-20 in the 4th quarter to rally for a 104-99 victory. Chicago was led by MVP front-runner Derrick Rose, who scored 39 points and dished out 6 assists.
|Photo by: Johnathan Daniel|
In Orlando, the Atlanta Hawks were the only road team to pickup a victory as they defeated the Magic 103-93. Atlanta was led by Joe Johnson, who scored 25 points on 9-16 shooting. Dwight Howard had a huge game for Orlando in the loss, as he scored 46 points and grabbed 19 rebounds.