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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- PORTLAND 22 17 15 27 81 DALLAS 27 16 21 28 92 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: POR - RASHEED WALLACE 13, STACEY AUGMON 12, TWO PLAYERS WITH 11 DAL - MICHAEL FINLEY 24, DIRK NOWITZKI 21, ERICK STRICKLAND 18

HIGH REBOUND: POR - BRIAN GRANT 12, BONZI WELLS 10 DAL - DIRK NOWITZKI 14, ERICK STRICKLAND 8

HIGH ASSISTS: POR - SIX PLAYERS WITH 2 DAL - STEVE NASH 6, TWO PLAYERS WITH 4

ATT: 14,005


Extended Box

PORTLAND (81) AT DALLAS (92)

PORTLAND REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

B GRANT F 32 2-8 2-6 4 8 12 1 1 1 0 7 PIPPEN F 29 1-6 3-6 2 7 9 2 1 1 3 5 WALLACE C 39 4-12 5-5 1 5 6 1 3 1 2 13 SMITH G 29 4-10 0-2 4 1 5 2 2 1 1 8 STOUDAMIRE G 26 4-11 0-0 1 1 2 2 3 0 3 11 AUGMON 25 4-8 4-4 4 2 6 2 1 0 0 12 WELLS 22 4-10 2-6 6 4 10 2 3 2 2 11 ANTHONY 24 3-10 2-2 1 0 1 2 5 2 2 9 ONEAL 14 2-6 1-2 4 4 8 0 2 0 2 5 G GRANT DNP - COACH'S DECISION HARVEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION SCHREMPF DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 28-81 19-33 27 32 59 14 21 8 15 81 (.346) (.576) TEAM REBS: 13 TOTAL TO: 18(19 PTS)

DALLAS REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

FINLEY F 44 9-16 2-2 1 3 4 4 3 4 5 24 NOWITZKI F 44 6-15 6-6 2 12 14 4 2 2 2 21 BRADLEY C 29 4-9 4-5 0 5 5 1 4 0 0 12 NASH G 39 4-9 1-1 0 1 1 6 1 0 0 9 STRICKLAND G 31 7-14 3-4 3 5 8 3 3 2 1 18 ROOKS 17 2-5 0-0 1 2 3 0 4 0 0 4 DAVIS 24 1-5 0-0 1 0 1 1 4 0 1 2 BUCKNER 12 1-3 0-0 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 2 CEBALLOS DNP - COACH'S DECISION JONES DNP - COACH'S DECISION PACK DNP - COACH'S DECISION RHODES DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 34-76 16-18 9 28 37 19 23 8 9 92 (.447) (.889) TEAM REBS: 2 TOTAL TO: 10(8 PTS)

PORTLAND 22 17 15 27 - 81 DALLAS 27 16 21 28 - 92

BLOCKED SHOTS: PORTLAND - B GRANT. DALLAS - BRADLEY 5, FINLEY 3, ROOKS. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: PORTLAND 6-21 (.286), B GRANT 1-1, PIPPEN 0-2, WALLACE 0-3, SMITH 0-2, STOUDAMIRE 3-4, WELLS 1-3, ANTHONY 1-6. DALLAS 8-20 (.400), FINLEY 4-5, NOWITZKI 3-10, NASH 0-2, STRICKLAND 1-2, DAVIS 0-1. TECHNICALS: PORTLAND - WALLACE. OFFICIALS: KEN MAUER, DAVID JONES, TOMMIE WOOD. A - 14,005. T - 2:12.


Box Score

PORTLAND (81) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp B Grant 32 2-8 2-6 4-12 1 1 7 Pippen 29 1-6 3-6 2-9 2 1 5 Wallace 39 4-12 5-5 1-6 1 3 13 Smith 29 4-10 0-2 4-5 2 2 8 Stoudamire 26 4-11 0-0 1-2 2 3 11 Augmon 25 4-8 4-4 4-6 2 1 12 Wells 22 4-10 2-6 6-10 2 3 11 Anthony 24 3-10 2-2 1-1 2 5 9 Oneal 14 2-6 1-2 4-8 0 2 5 G Grant DNP - coach's decision Harvey DNP - coach's decision Schrempf DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 28-81 19-33 27-59 14 21 81 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.346, FT-.576. 3-Point Goals: 6-21, .286 (B Grant 1-1, Pippen 0-2, Wallace 0-3, Smith 0-2, Stoudamire 3-4, Wells 1-3, Anthony 1-6). Team rebounds: 13. Blocked shots: 1 (B Grant). Turnovers: 18 (Pippen 3, Stoudamire 3, Anthony 2, Oneal 2, Wallace 2, Wells 2, Smith). Steals: 8 (Anthony 2, Wells 2, B Grant, Pippen, Smith, Wallace).

DALLAS (92) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Finley 44 9-16 2-2 1-4 4 3 24 Nowitzki 44 6-15 6-6 2-14 4 2 21 Bradley 29 4-9 4-5 0-5 1 4 12 Nash 39 4-9 1-1 0-1 6 1 9 Strickland 31 7-14 3-4 3-8 3 3 18 Rooks 17 2-5 0-0 1-3 0 4 4 Davis 24 1-5 0-0 1-1 1 4 2 Buckner 12 1-3 0-0 1-1 0 2 2 Ceballos DNP - coach's decision Jones DNP - coach's decision Pack DNP - coach's decision Rhodes DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-76 16-18 9-37 19 23 92 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.447, FT-.889. 3-Point Goals: 8-20, .400 (Finley 4-5, Nowitzki 3-10, Nash 0-2, Strickland 1-2, Davis 0-1). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 9 (Bradley 5, Finley 3, Rooks). Turnovers: 10 (Finley 5, Nowitzki 2, Davis, Strickland). Steals: 8 (Finley 4, Nowitzki 2, Strickland 2). ____________________________________________ Portland 22 17 15 27 - 81 Dallas 27 16 21 28 - 92 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Portland 1 (Wallace, 3:51 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 14,005. T: 2:12. Officials: Ken Mauer, David Jones, Tommie Wood.


Game Story

DALLAS (Ticker) -- One last time, what was Mark Cuban thinking?

Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to help the resurgent Dallas Mavericks hold off the Portland Trail Blazers for their fifth straight victory, 92-81.

The five-game streak is the Mavericks' longest since they reeled off six straight from March 20-30, 1995. Dallas has won eight of nine, including victories over Utah, Sacramento and Portland.

"I'm very happy with the guys," Dallas guard Erick Strickland said. "Everybody is playing well. Everybody is playing hard. We have tremendous heart on this team. We're not giving up and we want to finish the season strong."

Dallas was on a roll once before this season when Cuban, the owner-in-waiting at the time, signed Dennis Rodman. Before the tattooed rebounding sideshow rolled into town, the Mavericks had won seven of eight. With Rodman on board they lost nine of 12, and after he left they struggled to regain their equilibrium.

Earlier today, Cuban was formally approved as owner by the NBA's Board of Governors, completing a record $280 million deal that includes the American Airlines Center, a new arena still under construction.

"The sky's the limit for our team," All-Star forward Michael Finley said. "We have a young team who started out real slow. It kind of affected us as far as the playoff race, but I'd rather for us to go the way we did. Starting off slow and finishing strong than to start strong and and finish terrible. Although we don't have any playoffs in our future this year, next year we should be there."

The Mavs led virtually the entire way after breaking to a 7-0 lead, but could open no more than an eight-point spread until late in the game, when the Trail Blazers seemed to wear down.

Portland took its only lead of the game, 46-45, with 9:41 to go in the third quarter when Scottie Pippen hit 1-of-2 free throws. Strickland answered with an 18-footer, but Pippen hit 1-of-2 from the line to tie it, 47-47, before the Mavericks went on an 11-2 run.

Nash hit a 12-footer and connected from 19 feet, giving Dallas a 51-47 edge with 7:10 left. Nowitzki nailed a pair of 3-pointers around a tip-in by Portland's Steve Smith and the Mavericks were up, 57-49.

Nash finished the burst at 58-49 when he connected on a free throw with just under four minutes left after Rasheed Wallace was whistled for his 36th technical foul of the season.

The Blazers, who were playing their second game in two nights, hit just 13-of-23 free throws in the second half. They had a chance to pull within four points with three minutes to play but Bonzi Wells missed a pair of free throws. Finley hit a jumper and Erick Strickland connected on a pair of free throws, giving Dallas an 84-74 lead with two minutes left.

Dallas coach Don Nelson said that much of the credit for the victory should go to Nash despite his apparently unimpressive stat line. Nash scored just nine points and dished out six assists, but had no turnovers and helped disrupt the Blazers' offense.

"It was one of those nights where I didn't throw the ball into the stands," Nash said. "I just took care of it and got the guys the ball. They made a lot of shots. I think the key was we played good defense even though we couldn't rebound the ball."

Finley scored 24 points and Strickland added 18 for the Mavs, who gained a surprising split of the four-game season series with the powerful Blazers. Dallas (36-41) matched its best win total since the 1994-95 season.

Wallace scored 13 points, Stacey Augmon added 12 and Brian Grant grabbed a season high-tying 12 rebounds for the Blazers (56-22), who have floudered to an 11-10 record after a season-high 11-game winning streak that had them tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA's best record.

The Blazers shot just 35 percent (28-of-81) from the floor and 58 percent from the line (19-of-33) but their offensive rebounding kept them from getting blown out. The Blazers grabbed 27 off the offensive glass, with Wells hauling in six and four other Blazers controlling four apiece. Portland scored 24 second-chance points.

Wells and Damon Stoudamire scored 11 points apiece and Wells had 10 rebounds.

Shawn Bradley had 12 points and five blocked shots for Dallas, which turned over the ball just 10 times, helping to offset the Blazers' dominance on the glass.

Although center Arvydas Sabonis made his return Monday night in Salt Lake City, Trail Blazers coach Mike Dunleavy did not use him against the Mavericks, even though it would have seemed the 7-3 Lithuanian could have helped against the 7-6 Bradley.

"Of course, but for us right now, that's not an issue," Dunleavy said. "He played last night. We're not going to risk him, probably wouldn't play him in a back-to-back game unless it was totally necessary for some playoff implications at this point and time. I knew fully coming in that there could be no time for him."

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