Playoff History

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2006 Playoffs

First Round vs. Memphis


Although MVP votes were already in the mail, Dirk Nowitzki may have made some pollsters do a little rethinking as he scored 31 points to help Dallas defeat Memphis 103-93 in Game 1. The first quarter featured eight lead changes and five ties with the Mavericks up 28-22 heading into the second, in large part due to 13 points by Nowitzki. Both teams shot about 60% in the second, but a 10-3 advantage on the boards kept Dallas ahead 60-51 at the break. Pau Gasol missed all five of his shots in the first half but scored 13 points in the third allowing Memphis to creep within one at 75-74 before settling on a 83-78 deficit entering the fourth. Despite shooting 5-of-18 in the fourth, Dallas was able to lead by double-digits for most of the quarter. Memphis outshot Dallas 53.2% to 45.9% for the game and was dominated on the boards 40-29. The Grizzlies had more turnovers than assists. Gasol scored a team-high 24 points. For the Mavs, Erick Dampier had 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds off the bench.


A mid-game power outage by the Grizlies gave Dallas all the breathing room it needed to cruise to a 94-79 win. The first quarter was entertaining despite being marred by a plethora of fouls as the Mavericks led 33-21 entering the second. Just when Memphis seemed to gain a little momentum, the bottom dropped out as the Grizzles went without a field goal from the 7:07 mark of the second quarter to the 8:20 mark of the third. Dallas built its lead up to 19 during that stretch and Memphis never came within 13 points the rest of the way. Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 of his game-high 31 points in the first half. Pau Gasol was the Grizzlies leading scorer with just 16 points. Memphis had 20 turnovers to 15 assists and the Mavs made 28 free throws while Memphis attempted just 26.

GAME THREE (APRIL 29, 2006) @ FEDEX FORUM (17,871) - DALLAS 94, MEMPHIS 89 (OT)

The Mavericks played catch-up for almost the entire game and needed overtime before finally knocking off the Grizzlies 94-89. As expected, down 0-2 and playing at home, Memphis jumped out to a 23-17 lead after one as Dallas shot 5-of-18 in the first quarter. The Mavericks continued to shoot poorly in the second but the Grizzlies still only led 45-38 at the half. Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry combined for 20 points in the third and helped Dallas close the gap to 61-60 entering the fourth. Memphis led 76-72 with 28 seconds remaining and Terry at the line. He made the first and missed the second but the ball found its way to Nowitzki who hit an incredible 3-pointer to tie the game. The Mavericks jumped out early in overtime and never looked back. Nowitzki finished with a game-high 36 points while Terry added 22. Dallas held a 50-42 advantage on the boards with 17 coming on the offensive end.

GAME FOUR (MAY 1, 2006) @ FEDEX FORUM (15,104) - DALLAS 102, MEMPHIS 76

Any doubt about the Mavericks desire to sweep the series were answered in the firs quarter as Dallas played a near-perfect game to defeat Memphis 102-76. Dallas took the lead less than four minutes into the game and there was little doubt about the outcome from there. The Mavs led 26-23 after one and 48-39 at the half. Dirk Nowitzki helped put things away in the third by scoring 12 of his game-high 27 points in the quarter. Josh Howard added 24 points while Jerry Stackhouse came of the bench to score 19. Dallas outshot Memphis 49.4% to 41.8% from the floor and held a 45-32 advantage on the boards. The Mavericks had 7, 3-pointers while the Grizzlies were 0-for-7 from downtown. Dallas made all 17 of its foul shots while Memphis shot 71.4% from the line. The Grizzlies had 14 turnovers to 9 assists while the Mavs had 21 assists to just 12 turnovers.

Conference Semi-Finals vs. San Antonio

GAME 1 (MAY 7, 2006) @ AT&T CENTER (18,797) - SAN ANTONIO 87, DALLAS 85

Game 1 of the series between Dallas and San Antonio certainly lived up to expectations as it came down to the final shot with the Spurs holding of the Mavericks 87-85. An untraditional high scoring first quarter found Dallas up 29-26 with Josh Howard scoring 12 points while Tim Duncan had 10 of the Spurs. Duncan carried San Antonio in the second, scoring 10 of his team's 20 points but the Mavericks still extended their lead to 52-46 at the half. The Spurs outshot Dallas 50.0% to 35.0% in the third and cut the deficit to 72-71 entering the final stanza. Neither team shot well in the closing quarter leading to a defensive showdown which saw five lead changes and four ties. The Spurs last points came on a Bruce Bowen 3-pointer with 2:14 remaining to put them up 87-84. Dallas had possession down 87-85 with 16 seconds left but San Antonio's swarming defense kept the Mavericks from getting a good look at the basket. Duncan scored a game-high 31 points while adding 13 rebounds. Jerry Stackhouse led Dallas with 24 points off the bench.

GAME 2 (MAY 9, 2006) @ AT&T CENTER (18,797) - DALLAS 113, SAN ANTONIO 91

The Mavericks' fresh legs seemed to finally pay dividends as Dallas got up early and played solid throughout in a 113-91 win over the Spurs. San Antonio's first and only lead of the night came on a Tim Duncan free throw to start the game but Dallas led by as many as 11 in the first before settling on a 26-22 advantage at the end of the opening period. Duncan picked up three fouls in the first six minutes of the second and the Spurs shot 0-for-10 the rest of the quarter, allowing the Mavs to extend their lead to 58-38 at the half. San Antonio shot 10-of-14 from the floor in the third but still trailed 84-66 entering the fourth quarter. The Mavs did not allow the Spurs within 14 points in the final stanza. Three Mavericks scored 20 points or more led by Josh Howard's 27. Duncan scored a game-high 28 points but Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker combined for just 28.


An absolutely crazy fourth quarter saw Dallas and San Antonio combine for 65 points, 30 foul shots, 12 lead changes and nine ties with the Mavericks ultimately edging out the Spurs 104-103. Dallas led by as many as 12 in the first as San Antonio shot just 6-of-24 from the floor. The Spurs looked as though they were headed for trouble, down 13 late in the second but they managed to cut the deficit to 53-48 at the half. The Mavericks built their lead back up to double-digits midway through the third, but again, the Spurs made a late run to bring the count to 73-69 entering the fourth. San Antonio grabbed an 86-85 lead with just under six minutes remaining and the teams battled back and forth the rest of the way. A pair of Dirk Nowitzki free throws put Dallas ahead by one with eight seconds remaining and the Spurs fumbled the ball away on the next possession to help seal the win for the Mavericks. Nowitzki scored 21 of his team-high 27 points from the foul line. Tim Duncan scored a game-high 35 points but fouled out in the closing moments. For the game, Dallas made 39 free throws while San Antonio attempted just 32.


Even though it was a late start and the game went into overtime, there is no way any one had trouble staying awake as Dallas and San Antonio played an instant classic with the Mavericks coming out ahead 123-118. Tony Parker was unstoppable to start the game, scoring 16 points in the first to help give the Spurs a 26-19 lead after one. The Mavs continued to struggle until midway through the second when they heated up and were able to time tie the game at 53 heading into halftime. There were five lead changes and eight ties in the third, but Dallas finished the quarter with a little scoring flurry to take a lead into the final stanza. The Mavericks were eight points up early in the fourth but saw that lead evaporate moments later. Fast forward to the closing moments of regulation when Michael Finley drilled a 3-pointer to put San Antonio ahead 111-109 with 15.4 seconds left. Dirk Nowitzki was fouled on the next possession and hit the game tying free throws to send the game to overtime. Dallas scored the first two buckets in the extra session and never looked back. Both teams shot over 50% and had three players score 20+ points.

GAME 5 (MAY 17, 2006) @ AT&T CENTER (18,797) - SAN ANTONIO 98, DALLAS 97

Despite a superb game by Tim Duncan, Dallas still had two chances on the final play to win the game but fell short 98-97. Tony Parker was on fire in the first, as he scored 15 points to help San Antonio to a 29-24 lead heading into the second period. Duncan flat out dominated the Mavericks in the second, scoring 21 points on 8-of-8 shooting but somehow Dallas still managed to tie the game at 57 at the half. The Spurs led 81-71 with three and a half minutes left in the third before the Mavs answered back with a seven-point run to end the quarter. Manu Ginobili hit one of two from the line at 1:59 mark to put the Spurs ahead and amazingly that was the final point in the game. On the final possession, Jason Terry missed a fade-away jumper in the corner and Dirk Nowitzki had a chance for the tip-in but couldn't get it to go. Duncan made his first 12 shots, an NBA playoff record, and finished with 36 points and 12 rebounds. Nowitzki had 31 points and 10 boards for Dallas.


With Jason Terry out of the lineup, the Mavericks struggled offensively but still had plenty of chances in a 91-86 loss to the Spurs. The combo of Josh Howard and Dirk Nowitzki got things going early for Dallas, scoring 18 of the Mavericks 25 points in the first quarter to put them ahead by five at the end of the period. Manu Ginobili ws a one-man show for San Antonio in the second, scoring 13 of his team's 21 points but San Antonio still trailed 47-41 at the break. There were four lead changes and six ties in the third and the quarter ended up knotted at 67. The Mavericks trailed 80-75 midway though the fourth but tied the game at 82 with three minutes remaining. On the Mavs final possession, with the Spurs up three, Nowitzki shot a heavily contested 3-pointer in the corner which was off the mark and San Antonio held on to force Game 7. Ginobili scoed a game-high 30 points while Nowitzki finished with a team-high 26 points and a Maverick playoff career-high 21 rebounds.

GAME 7 (MAY 22, 2006) @ AT&T CENTER (18,79) - DALLAS 119, SAN ANTONIO 111 (OT)

The Mavericks outlasted the Spurs to advance to the Western Conference Finals but not before sending their fans into cardiac arrest in a 119-111 overtime thriller. Dallas outscored San Antonio 37-27 in the first while shooting 15-of-18 (83.3%) from the floor. The Mavericks "cooled off" a bit in the second, only shooting 55.6% in the quarter to take a 64-50 advantage into halftime. Tim Duncan took command in the third, scoring 13 of his playoff career-high 41 points to help the Spurs trim the deficit to 84-78 entering the fourth. San Antonio took their first lead with 33 seconds left on a Manu Ginobili 3-pointer. Dirk Nowitzki made a strong move to the basket on the ensuing possession and completed an old fashioned 3-point play to tie things up. On the final shot, Duncan either lost the ball going up or was fouled, depending on who you were rooting for, and the game went to overtime. The Mavericks shot 4-of-6 in the extra session and were able to hold Duncan to 1-of-7 shooting in the large part due to the defensive effort of DeSagana Diop. Nowitzki finished with 37 points and 15 boards for Dallas while Jason Terry added 27. Dallas outshot San Antonio 51.9% to 47.4% and held a 41-34 advantage on the boards. The Mavericks also shot 90.3% (28-31) from the foul line.

Conference Finals vs. Phoenix


Even though the Mavericks played right into the Suns hands during the first half, Dallas still found itself in command late in the game but couldn't hold on in a 121-118 loss. Phoenix came out smoking, outscoring Dallas 35-29 in the first behind 22 combined points from Shawn Marion and Tim Thomas. Steve Nash scored 12 in the second but the Mavericks held their ground and trailed 62-58 at the break. The Mavericks exploded in the third behind 13 points from Devin Harris and took a 95-91 lead entering the fourth quarter. Dallas led 114-105 with less than four minutes remaining but Nash went ballistic, scoring 10 points to get Phoenix back in the game. Harris hit a 16-footer to give Dallas a 118-117 advantage with 4.8 seconds remaining but Boris Diaw hit a turnaround jumper on the baseline to seal the win for the Suns and give them a 1-0 lead in the series. Diaw scored a game-high 34 points while Nash added 27 points and 16 assists. Harris finished with 30 points for the Mavs.


With fellow German icon David Hasselhoff in attendance, Dirk Nowitzki turned it on in the fourth quarter to help Dallas come away with a 105-98 win over Phoenix and a split of the series' first two games. Nowitzki started strong scoring 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the first to give the Mavs a 22-17 lead heading into the second quarter. The Suns, for lack of a better term, were on fire in the second, shooting 14-of-20 and Phoenix led 52-47 at the break. Although Phoenix threatened to gain some separation early in the third, Dallas managed to cut to the deficit to 77-75 entering the fourth thanks to 13 points in the quarter from Josh Howard. Midway through the final period, the Mavericks jumped ahead and unlike Game 1 they held onto the lead. Nowitzki scored 12 of his game-high 30 points in the final stanza. Howard played with a bone bruise on his right ankle but still scored 29 points. Boris Diaw led Phoenix with 25 points.

GAME 3 (MAY 28, 206) @ US AIRWAYS ARENA (18,422) - DALLAS 95, PHOENIX 88

It's hard to believe that these were the same two teams that combined for 239 points in Game 1 but it was Dallas who controlled the tempo in Game 3, allowing the Mavericks to win 95-88 and take a 2-1 series lead. Boris Diaw got Phoenix going with 10 points in the first but the Suns only led 25-22 at the end of the quarter. Although Phoenix took the first double-digit lead of the series midway through the second, a late rally but Dallas cut the deficit to 52-47 at halftime. The Mavs came out strong in the second half and outscored the Suns 12-2 in the first five minutes. Dallas led 72-68 at the start of the fourth and withstood a brief burst by the Suns before answering back with an 8-0 run of their own which put the Mavericks in control for the rest of the game. Dirk Nowitzki finished with team-highs of 28 points, 17 rebounds and 5 assists while Josh Howard added 22 points and 12 boards. Steve Nash scored 21 points for the Suns but had just 7 assists to 4 turnovers. Dallas had 6 turnovers as a team.

GAME 4 (MAY 30, 2006) @ US AIRWAYS ARENA (18,422) - PHOENIX 106, DALLAS 86

For the first time in over three months, Dirk Nowitzki reminded us he's human while the rest of the Mavericks couldn't make up the difference as Phoenix tied up the series with a 106-86 thumping. Dallas had 6 turnovers in the first quarter after having only six turnovers in all of Game 3 but the game was still tied at 28 entering the second quarter. Leandro Barbosa scored 10 of his game-high 24 points in the second to help put the Suns ahead 51-46 at the break. The Mavericks just couldn't get things going offensively in the third as they shot 7-of-19 which allowed Phoenix to extend its lead to 79-67 by the end of the quarter. The fourth quarter quickly turned into "garbage time" as the Suns went up by 20 with seven minutes remaining. Nowitzki scored just 11 points on 3-of-13 shooting. Dallas was outshot 54.5% to 41.8% from the floor and had 14 turnovers while Phoenix had only 7. Josh Howard led the Mavericks with 16 points, marking the first time this postseason Dallas failed to have a 20-point scorer.


An incredible performance by Dirk Nowitzki allowed Dallas to dominate the fourth quarter and come away with a 117-101 win over Phoenix. After scoring 11 points in all of Game 4, Nowitzki dropped 13 in the first to help give the Mavericks a 36-23 lead at the end of the quarter. Tim Thomas caught fire from behind-the-arc in the second, drilling three 3-pointers, and Phoenix cut the deficit to 58-55 at the half. Thomas continued to light it up in the third and the Suns led 77-70 with 3:27 left in the quarter before Dallas answered back with a 10-0 run. With just under nine minutes left in the game, Raja Bell and Mike D'Antoni picked up technicals arguing a foul call and from that point on, momentum was completely in the Mavericks favor. Nowitzki single-handedly outscored the Suns 22-20 in the fourth. He finished with a franchise playoff-high 50 points while Josh Howard added 23. Three Suns scored 20+ points led by Thomas' 26. Dallas held a 49-35 advantage on the boards.

GAME 6 (JUNE 3, 2006) @ US AIRWAYS ARENA (18,422) - DALLAS 102, PHOENIX 93

The Mavericks overcame an 18-point deficit with a total team effort in the second half to advance to the NBA Finals with a 102-93 win over Phoenix. Early on, it looked as though Game 7 was on the horizon, as Phoenix jumped out to a 29-14 lead after one quarter. Dallas slowed the pace down some in the second and trimmed the margin to 51-39 at the half. After a rough first-half, [[Dirk Nowitzki] got things going in the third, scoring 12 points to pull the Mavericks within four at 66-62 entering the fourth. Momentum was completely in the Mavericks favor and by the four minute mark of the fourth, Dallas pulled away. The Mavericks outscored the Suns 40-27 in the fourth. Jerry Stackhouse and Jason Terry combined for 23 points in the final quarter. Nowitzki scored a team-high 24 points while Josh Howard added 20 and a game-high 15 rebounds. Boris Diaw led all players with 30 points. Dallas made 25 free throws while Phoenix attempted only 20. The Suns also committed 18 turnovers.

NBA Finals vs. Miami Heat


A strong defensive effort in the second half coupled with a hot shooting night by Jason Terry resulted in a 90-80 win by Dallas over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Dwayne Wade got the Heat going early, scoring 13 of his team-high 29 points in the first as Miami led 31-23 after one. The Mavericks trailed 38-27 with just over eight minutes left in the second but Terry got them back into the game and Dallas led 46-44 at the break. Wade re-asserted himself in the third, scoring 10 of the Heat's 24 points but the Mavericks kept pace and led 70-68 entering the fourth. Early in the fourth, Terry scored 8 straight points in a span of just over a minute to give Dallas an 82-72 lead and the Mavs held on the rest of the way. Terry finished with game-high 32 points on 13-of-18 shooting. The Heat shot 48.7% in the first half but just 38.5% in the second half. The Mavericks made 20 free throws while the Heat attempted just 19, making 7. Miami's bench accounted for just two points while Jerry Stackhouse had 13 by himself.


Jerry Stackhouse provided an explosive finish to the first half which set the tone for the rest of the game as Dallas cruised to a 99-85 victory and a 2-0 lead in the Finals. The Mavericks and Heat combined to shoot 11-of-35 in the first quarter and Dallas led 18-17 heading into the second. The game remained tight until the five-minute mark of the second quarter when the Mavericks began to pull away. Stackhouse helped increase the lead to 50-34, by scoring 10 consecutive points in the final 80 seconds of the half. Miami never really came within double-digits in the second half and trailed by as many as 27 points. Dirk Nowitzki led all players with 26 points and 16 rebounds. Stackhouse scored 19 off the bench and knocked down 4-of-5 from 3-point range. Dwayne Wade led the Heat with 23 but the Mavs defense held Shaquille O'Neal to only five points.


Miami fans went from agony to euphoria in a matter of moments as the Heat overcame a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter to come away with their first win in the best-of-seven series, 98-96. The Mavericks shot 7-of-21 in the first while Dwayne Wade scored 13 points in the quarter to give Miami a 29-21 lead entering the second period. Dallas continued to struggle offensively in the second, shooting 7-of-19 and trailed 52-43 at the break. Josh Howard and Dirk Nowitzki combined for 21 points in the third as Dallas outscored Miami 34-16 in the quarter to take a 77-68 lead into the fourth. The heat was down 89-76 with six-and-a-half minutes remaining but Wade took control, single-handedly outscoring Dallas 12 to 7 the rest of the game. Wade finished with 42 points and 13 rebounds. Nowitzki finished with 30 points despite starting slow. Miami outrebounded Dallas in the game and both teams had more turnovers than assists.


A poor shooting night put the Mavericks in a hole they were never able to climb out of, as Miami cruised to a 98-74 win to even the series. Dwayne Wade picked up where he left of in Game 3 by scoring 14 points in the first quarter and Miami led 30-25 after one. Wade added 10 more points in the second while Dallas continued to struggle and the Heat led 54-44 at the break. Dallas trailed 77-52 midway through the third before cutting the deficit to 78-67 entering the final stanza. Several miscues by the Heat gave Dallas opportunities to make a game of it but the Mavericks scored just 7 points on 2-of-18 shooting in the fourth. Wade finished with a game-high 36 points. No Maverick had more than 17 points (Jason Terry). Miami outshot Dallas 51.5% to 31.6% and dominated the boards 48-36. The Mavericks had just 10 assists to 14 turnovers.

GAME 5 (JUNE 18, 2006) @ AMERICAN AIRLINES ARENA (20, 145) - MIAMI 101, DALLAS 100 (OT)

A spectacular effort by Dwayne Wade coupled with a series of unfortunate events for Dallas resulted in a 101-100 overtime win by Miami. Although Dirk Nowitzki scored 8 points in the first quarter the Mavs still trailed 24-21 heading into the second. Jason Terry and Josh Howard combined to score 27 points in the second as Dallas took a 51-43 lead at the break. The Heat trailed 63-54 midway through the third but cut the deficit to 71-70 entering the fourth. The fourth quarter featured five lead changes and five ties, including a jumper by Wade with 2.8 seconds remaining which sent the game into overtime. Nowitzki put Dallas ahead 100-99 with 9.1 seconds left but Wade answered back by drawing a foul and knocking down the free throws for the win and a 3-2 series lead for Miami. Wade finished with 43 points and attempted as many free throws (25) as the Mavericks did as a team. Terry led Dallas with 35 points and Howard added 25. The Mavericks outrebounded the Heat 42-33.


Once again the Mavericks had their chances but couldn't convert as the Heat captured their first NBA title with a 95-92 win. Dallas got off to a great start, outscoring Miami 30-23 in the first with Dirk Nowitzki scoring 11 in the quarter. Miami used a 13-2 run to close the second quarter and take a 49-48 lead into the half The Mavericks shot just 5-of-19 in the third and trailed by two entering the fourth quarter. Dwayne Wade shot 10 free throws in the fourth and scored 11 of his game-high 36 points in the quarter to propel Miami to victory. Dallas did have a chance to tie the game on the final possession, but a 3-point attempt by Jason Terry fell astray. Nowitzki scored a team-high 29 points while adding a game-high 15 rebounds. Four Heat players recorded double-digits in rebounding and Miami won the battle of the boards 56-50. With the loss, the Mavericks became just the third team in NBA history to lose the Finals after leading the series 2-0.

2005 Playoffs

First Round vs. Houston


The Mavericks nearly recovered from a poor showing in the first half but could not complete the comeback in a 98-86 loss to the Rockets in Game 1. Dallas scored the first five points of the game but Houston closed out the first quarter with a 12-1 run to take a 26-16 lead into the second. Things continued to go downhill for the Mavs in the second quarter as they trailed by as many as 19 points before cutting the deficit to 52-40 heading into halftime. Houston led by double-digits throughout the first eight and a half minutes of the third quarter before Dallas made up some ground, trailing 75-71 with just over nine minutes remaining. The Rockets regained composure and led comfortably over the final six minutes. Tracy McGrady led all scorers with 34 points while Dirk Nowitzki paced Dallas with 21 points on 5-of-19 shooting. The Mavericks had 13 turnovers to just 12 assists.


The tandem of Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming was too much for the Mavericks to overcome, as the Rockets came away with a 113-111 win in Game 2. Yao set the tone early for Houston as he erupted for 17 first quarter points to help give the Rockets a 34-30 advantage entering the second. Although Josh Howard and Dirk Nowitzki combined for 22 points in the second quarter, Dallas was unable to make up any ground and Houston led 60-56 at the half. The Mavericks made a run early in the third to pull ahead and led 88-84 at the end of the quarter. Houston trailed 96-88 with just over nine minutes remaining but was able to cut the deficit to 96-95. Dallas rebuilt its lead to seven with six minutes left, but another rally by the Rockets game them a 106-105 lead with 2:50 left on the clock. Nowitzki hit a 14-footer to tie the game at 111 with 10.4 seconds left but McGrady came right down the court to drill a 23-foot jumper for the eventual game-winner. Michael Finley had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer but his jumper did not fall. Yao led all scorers with a team-high 33 points while McGrady added 28 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks in 47 minutes of play. Nowitzki scored a team-high 26 points and was one of six Mavericks to score in double figures.

GAME 3 (APRIL 28, 2005) @ TOYOTA CENTER (18,199) - DALLAS 106, HOUSTON 102

A 20-point run in the fourth quarter saved the game and the series for the Mavericks as they avoided going down 0-3 with a 106-102 win at Houston in Game 3. Dallas came out with a lot of energy and took an early seven-point lead before settling on a 32-27 lead after one. Houston trailed by as many as 10, five minutes into the second before cutting the deficit back to 54-49 at the break. A 15-2 run near the start of the third quarter gave the Rockets a 10-point advantage of their own but the Mavs pulled within five at 83-78 heading into the fourth. Houston led 88-80 with 9:22 remaining in the game before Dallas went on its amazing run. Six different Mavericks contributed to a 20-0 run over the next six minutes and 24 seconds to put Houston down 100-88. Although momentarily shell-shocked, the Rockets did make a game of it in the end but there was not enough time left to complete another comeback. Dirk Nowitzki and Tracy McGrady tied for game-high honors with 28 points. Although the Mavericks were outrebounded 44-35, the made seven more free throws (32-37, 86.5%) then Houston attempted (17-25, 68.0%).

GAME 4 (APRIL 30, 2005) @ TOYOTA CENTER (18,211) - DALLAS 97, HOUSTON 93

In a strange game that saw both teams open up and lose respectable leads, the Mavericks were able to corral momentum over the final minutes to defeat the Rockets 97-93 in Game 4. Dallas started strong and led by as many as eight points before settling on a 26-22 advantage at the end of the first. The second quarter was a wild one which featured five lead changes and four ties with Houston leading 51-48 at halftime. The Rockets extended that lead to 57-48 in the opening moments of the third but the Mavericks rallied back to tie the game at 70 with four minutes left in the third. Dallas led 77-72 in the closing moments of the third before Houston tied it at 77 heading into the fourth. The Rockets led 88-82 with just under six minutes remaining but after a few scoreless minutes, the Mavericks made a 9-0 run to go up 91-88 with 1:36 left. Trailing 95-93 with 12.5 seconds left, Tracy McGrady rebounded a missed free throw by Jerry Stackhouse but Josh Howard came from behind to knock the ball off McGrady and out of bounds. McGrady scored a game-high 36 points, but it was Jason Terry who stole the show, scoring 24 of his team-high 32 points in the second half.


Despite leading for most of the game, including the entire second-half, the Mavericks needed the aid of some poor foul shooting by the Rockets to hold on to a 103-100 win. The first quarter was played relatively even with Dallas taking a brief seven-point lead late before settling on a 24-22 edge heading into the second. The Mavericks were up 37-29 a few minutes into the second before the Rockets used a 9-0 run to take a short-lived lead. Houston trailed 52-44 at the break and Dallas would continue to lead comfortably until the final four minutes of the game. With 4:26 remaining, the Mavericks led 90-79 but the Rockets went on an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to three. Leading 103-100 with 4.8 seconds on the clock, Dallas sent Tracy McGrady to the foul line to make sure he didn't have a chance to get off a 3-pointer. McGrady unintentionally missed the first shot and intentionally missed the second, then proceeded to grab his own rebound and curled out to launch a potential game tying 3-pointer at the buzzer, which bounced off the rim. Houston shot 8-of-16 from the foul line in the fourth quarter. Yao Ming scored a game-high 30 points but missed five free throws in the fourth. Dirk Nowitzki scored a team-high 23 points to go along with a game-high 13 rebounds.

GAME 6 (MAY 5, 2005) @ TOYOTA CENTER (18,215) - HOUSTON 101, DALLAS 83

Falling in line with the rest of the series, Game 6 featured a lot of the unexpected including the Mavericks going without a field goal over the final seven minutes in a 101-83 loss to the Rockets. The game started out even and was tied at 17 with just over three minutes remaining before Dallas used a 9-1 run to close out the first. The second quarter belonged to Houston's Mike James, as the guard came off the bench to score 13 points helping the Rockets outscore the Mavs 34-19 in the quarter and take a 52-45 lead into the break. Michael Finley's 10 points in the third helped Dallas slowly chip away at the deficit and eventually a 70-69 advantage heading into the fourth. The Rockets went back ahead 82-72 with eight and a half minutes remaining but the Mavericks once again rallied back to close the score to 82-80 in just over a minute's worth of time. That rally seemed to take its toll on Dallas, as Houston went on a 19-0 run to take a 101-80 lead in the game's final minute. The Mavs were outscored 32-13 in the fourth and both Tracy McGrady (11 points) and Jon Barry (12 points) nearly outscored Dallas by themselves. McGrady scored a series-high 37 points while adding 8 rebounds and a game-high 7 assists while Jerry Stackhouse paced Dallas with 21 points.


Intrigue and suspense took the night off as the Mavericks steamrolled the Rockets from start to finish en route to registering the largest margin of victory ever in a Game 7, 116-76. Dallas quickly opened up a 16-6 lead midway through the first quarter before Houston pulled within two at 16-14 less than a minute and a half later. The Mavericks went back ahead 32-20 at the end of the first and the Rockets would come no closer the remainder of the game. Dallas held Houston to franchise opponent playoff-lows of 76 points and 35.4% shooting. The Mavericks shot 51.3% from the floor and also held a 52-33 advantage in rebounding. Yao Ming led all scorers with 33 points while Jason Terry paced Dallas with 31 points, including a perfect 12-of-12 shooting from the foul line. Tracy McGrady and Yao combined for all but 16 of the Rockets points. The Mavericks' bench outscored the Rockets reserves 29-6.

Conference Semi-Finals vs. Phoenix

GAME 1 (MAY 9, 2005) @ AMERICA WEST ARENA (18,422) - PHOENIX 127, DALLAS 102

The Mavericks simply had no answer for Amare Stoudemire or for the Suns in general, as Phoenix never trailed in a 127-102 win over Dallas in Game 1. Stoudemire set the tone early, scoring 15 points in the first quarter to give Phoenix a 29-22 lead entering the second. The Suns went from hot to white-hot in the second quarter, outscoring the Mavericks 34-25 to take a 63-47 edge into halftime. Dallas never came closer than 14 points in the second half and would trail by 20-plus points for most of the third and fourth quarters. Stoudemire finished with playoff career-highs of 40 points and 16 rebounds. He shot 14-of-17 from the line while Dallas shot 9-of-12 as a team. Dirk Nowitzki scored a team-high 28 points, but 17 came in the second-half after the game was already decided. The starting lineup for Phoenix outscored the starters for the Mavs 111-66.

GAME 2 (MAY 11, 2005) @ AMERICA WEST ARENA (18,422) - DALLAS 108, PHOENIX 106

After suffering a minor meltdown in the third quarter, the Mavericks recovered to sneak away with a 108-106 win over the Suns in Game 2. Atoning for a poor showing in Game 1, Dallas came out strong to start the game, outscoring Phoenix 34-22 in the first. Erick Dampier scored 10 of his 15 points in the opening quarter after going scoreless in Game 1. The Mavericks shot just 30.4% in the second quarter, allowing the Suns to pull within 54-46 at the break. Less than two and a half minutes into the second-half, Phoenix took the lead after opening the third quarter with an 11-2 run. The Suns led 82-80 entering the fourth quarter, which featured five lead changes and six ties. The game was tied at 96 with less than five minutes remaining. The Mavericks used an 8-2 run to take a 104-98 lead before the Suns quickly tied the game at 106 two minutes later. Dirk Nowitzki nailed a 16-foot turnaround jumper to put Dallas ahead by two with 6.8 second left. Quentin Richardson had a contested 3-point attempt at the buzzer, which missed the mark. Michael Finley scored 20 of his game-high 31 points in the second-half. All five starters scored in double-figures for Dallas. Three Suns scored 20 or more points, led by Amare Stoudemire's 30.


The Mavericks started the game with a lot of emotion and intensity but were unable to sustain it as they faded down the stretch in a 119-102 loss to Phoenix in Game 3. Everyone got involved for Dallas early on as six Mavericks scored four or more points in the first quarter to help build a 31-27 advantage. The Mavs extended that lead to 35-27 in the opening moments of the second before completely falling out of rhythm. A 12-3 run by the Suns game them a 39-38 advantage and the confidence to succeed without starting guard Joe Johnson. Phoenix took a 60-59 lead into the break, behind 25 first-half points by Amare Stoudemire. Although the third quarter was balanced stat-wise, Phoenix was still able to build its lead to 87-82 heading into the fourth thanks to four combined 3-pointers from Quentin Richardson and Shawn Marion. The Mavericks had their chances in the fourth quarter but were never able to pull ahead. Dallas trailed 97-96 with just under six minutes remaining before Phoenix went on a 15-0 run to put the game out of reach. Stoudemire finished with game-highs of 37 points and 14 rebounds, while Steve Nash added 27 points and a playoff career-high 17 assists. Six Mavericks scored in double-figures, led by Dirk Nowitzki's 21 points on 8-of-24 shooting.


A brilliant scoring effort by Steve Nash was offset by a balanced team attack from the Mavs, as Dallas managed to outrun Phoenix in a 119-109 win in Game 4. With three minutes to go in the first quarter, the Suns led 22-21 but the Mavericks answered with a 9-0 run to take a 30-22 lead into the second. Six Mavericks scored four or more points in the second quarter to help Dallas extend its lead to 66-50 at the break. Dallas continued to lead by double-digits throughout the third, despite 23 points in the quarter by Nash who scored 18 straight for Phoenix during one stretch. Despite Nash's continued success in the fourth quarter, the Suns never came closer than nine points. Nash scored 35 of his playoff career-high 48 points in the second half. It also marked the most points by a Maverick opponent in franchise playoff-history but his nine turnovers were also an opponent high. Three Mavericks scored 20 or more points led by Josh Howard's playoff career-high 29. Jerry Stackhouse alone outscored the Phoenix bench 22-3.

GAME 5 (MAY 18, 2005) @ AMERICA WEST ARENA (18,422) - PHOENIX 114, DALLAS 108

The Suns caught a wave of momentum in the fourth quarter that the Mavericks were unable to counter in a 114-108 come-from-behind win for Phoenix. The first quarter was relatively even with Jerry Stackhouse coming off the bench to score 11 points, helping to cancel out Steve Nash's 10. Dallas held a 29-25 lead at the start of the second and was able to extend the margin to 55-48 at the break thanks to 12 points in the quarter from Dirk Nowitzki. An energized Phoenix team came out of the break and tied the game at 65 six minutes into the third quarter. After falling behind by as many as five, the Mavericks regained a 77-76 lead heading into the final stanza. The Suns opened the final quarter with a 9-0 run and never let the Mavs within five points the rest of the game. Nash and Nowitzki led their teams with 34 points each. Nash also added a playoff career-high 13 rebounds and a game-high 12 assists for his first triple-double in the postseason. In the loss, Dallas committed just eight turnovers.

GAME 6 (MAY 20, 2005) @ AMERICAN AIRLINES CENTER (20,915) - PHOENIX 130, DALLAS 126 (OT)

Game Six finished with a Hollywood ending, just not the one Dallas fans wanted to see, as Steve Nash helped eliminate his old team in a 130-126 overtime thriller. The Mavs jumped out to a 17-9 lead early on before settling on a 32-28 advantage at the end of the first. Jason Terry scored 11 of his playoff career-high 36 points in the second quarter as Dallas extended its lead to 62-53 at the half. Phoenix fell behind by as many as 16 late in the third quarter before cutting the deficit to 84-77 heading into the fourth. Momentum swung back and forth in the final quarter with Dallas leading 111-108 in the closing moments. Nash dashed down the court and nailed a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime. Shawn Marion scored 11 points in the extra session to help Phoenix pull away. Nash finished one rebound shy of a triple-double with 39 points, 12 assists and 9 rebounds. Marion added 38 points and 16 boards. Dallas was outshot 49.5% to 43.3% and lost despite committing just nine turnovers.

2004 Playoffs

First Round vs. Sacramento

GAME 1 (APRIL 18, 2004) @ ARCO ARENA (17,317) - SACRAMENTO 116, DALLAS 105

After a solid showing in the first half, the Mavericks sputtered over the final two quarters and the Kings took full advantage resulting in a 116-105 victory for Sacramento. Dallas fell behind early in the game, as the Kings led by as many as seven points on several occasions in the first quarter. The Mavericks were able to keep their composure and cut the deficit to 34-31 heading into the second despite 13 first quarter points from Peja Stojakovic. Dallas took their first lead 39-38 two minutes into the second and extended the margin to as many as five with two minutes to go in the half. The Mavericks led 65-63 at the break as both teams hit over half their field goal attempts. The lead changed hands several times in the third quarter but it was Sacramento who carried an 86-85 edge into the fourth. A 10-2 run to open quarter put the Kings ahead 96-87 and the Mavericks trailed by double digits over the final seven minutes of play. Dallas shot just 37.0% in the second half and was outshot 53.0% to 45.1% for the game. Dirk Nowitzki posted game-highs of 32 points and 13 rebounds while adding 5 blocks and 3 steals but battled foul trouble most of the game. Three Kings scored at least 20 points, led by Stojakovic's 28.

GAME 2 (APRIL 20, 2004) @ ARCO ARENA (17,317) - SACRAMENTO 83, DALLAS 79

The Mavericks and Kings shocked everyone as neither team could find the basket in a defensive struggle that ended in an 83-79 win for Sacramento. The tone was set early as both teams struggled offensively with the Kings leading 21-19 after one. Dallas briefly pulled ahead by as many as seven midway through the second before Sacramento rallied to take a 44-42 lead at the break. Dirk Nowitzki scored 17 of his game-high 28 points in the first half and Chris Webber nearly notched a triple-double over the first two quarters with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists. The Kings came out funning in the second half and jumped out to a 53-44 lead before the Mavericks answered with a 9-0 run to tie things up. The Mavs led by as many as four points halfway through the fourth before the Kings used a 7-2 run to take control. Sacramento led 81-79 in the closing moments and was able to hold on after Dallas failed to convert on several chances. Webber finished with 19 points and game-highs of 13 rebounds and 12 assists. The game featured 18 lead changes and 12 ties.


Even though the Mavericks shot only 40.0% from the floor, they still managed to outscore the Kings 104-79 by way of second chance points and a Dallas opponent franchise playoff-high 26 turnovers committed by Sacramento. The Mavericks quickly jumped out to a 13-3 lead and outside of a Kings' rally to briefly tie the game in the second quarter, Dallas was in control for almost the entire night and never trailed. Sacramento was down 33-25 to start the second but used an 8-0 run to tie the game. The Mavs regained a seven point lead heading onto halftime and quickly extended the margin to double digits in the third to put the game out of reach. Three Mavericks scored 20 or more points, led by Marquis Daniels' game-high tying 22. Dallas recorded a franchise playoff-high 19 steals and scored 29 points off of the Kings 26 turnovers. The Mavericks outrebounded the Kings 56-46 and had 23 offensive boards which they converted into 26 second chance points.


It was a night of missed opportunities for Dallas as they failed to convert on 13 of 33 free throws and fell short on a potential game-tying shot at the buzzer in a 94-92 loss to Sacramento. The Mavericks struggled on offense to open the game and found themselves down 15-8 with four minutes to go in the first. Dallas clawed back to within three, at 21-18 heading into the second. The second quarter was a wild one which featured six lead changes and six ties. The Mavericks outscored the Kings 26-18 in the quarter and led 44-39 at the break. Dallas jumped out to a 52-44 lead three minutes into the second half but a 10-2 run by Sacramento tied the game at 54 with five minutes to go in the third. The Kings carried that momentum through the end of the quarter and led 70-65 after three. Peja Stojakovic, who was held to 6 points in the first half, scored 12 in the third on 5-of-5 shooting. Dallas trailed by as many as eight with less than three and a half minutes remaining in the game but was able to pull within two and had the game's final possession. Steve Nash was closely guarded by Stojakovic and his 17-foot jumper fell astray.

GAME 5 (APRIL 29, 2004) @ ARCO ARENA (17,317) - SACRAMENTO 119, DALLAS 118

The Mavericks fought hard to stave off elimination but some untimely fourth-quarter turnovers proved too much to overcome in a 119-118 loss to the Kings. Dallas tried to put Sacramento away early as the Mavs jumped ahead 21-6 less than five minutes into the game. The Kings trailed 46-30 early in the second quarter before they caught fire with a 24-9 run to cut the deficit to 55-54 with four minutes to go in the half. The Mavericks regained control in the third quarter and led by as many as seven with two minutes to go before the Kings tied the game at 96 heading into the fourth. Sacramento carried that momentum into the final quarter and took a seven-point lead of their own. Dallas mounted a comeback and had possession down one with six seconds left. Dirk Nowitzki's 15-foot jumper bounced off the rim and the Kings came away with the win. Mike Bibby led all scorers with 36 points and he shot 6-0f-8 from behind-the-arc. Nowitzki led Dallas with 31 points, adding a game-high 14 rebounds.

2003 Playoffs

First Round vs. Portland


Dirk Nowitzki buried a career-high 46 points, the most ever by a Mavericks player in the playoffs, and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Dallas to a 96-86 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. He scored 10 during a 15-1 spurt in the third quarter that gave the Mavs the advantage in the game. Portland began to lose control of its 13-point lead when Rasheed Wallace left the game with an ankle injury with 7:23 remaining in the third. He came back four minutes later but Dallas was already on their run. The Mavericks held the Blazers to just 12 points that quarter. Wallace finished with 26 points and 7 rebounds. Damon Stoudamire had 16 points while Bonzi Wells added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Michael Finley had his best game since returning from a late season hamstring injury. After missing his first six shots, he made the next five to finish with 13 points and 7 rebounds. Dallas outshot Portland 46.6%-42.7% but the Blazers held the rebounding advantage 48-40.


Michael Finley, Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki combined to score 70 points, giving Dallas a 103-99 victory and a 2-0 series lead against Portland. The Mavericks won despite a franchise playoff opponent-high 45 points from Bonzi Wells. He scored 18 points in the fourth quarter and was Portland's only scoring threat down the stretch. Nash led the Mavs with 28 points, with 11 in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer with 29.7 seconds left in the game that gave Dallas a 101-98 lead. After one free throw by Wells and two by Nash with 14.5 remaining, Portland could only throw up a 3-pointer in the closing seconds. Nowitzki finished with 25 points and Finley had 17. Nick Van Exel and Eduardo Najera each had 12 off the bench. Dallas led throughout most of the game until the start of the fourth. The Blazers made the first to baskets of that quarter to lead (75-72) for the first time since the first quarter. Dallas stayed in the game making 10 of its 14 shots in the fourth. Both steams shot well (Dallas 48.7% to Portland's 47.1%) and both teams had 38 rebounds.

GAME 3 (APRIL 25, 2003) @ ROSE GARDEN (19,980) - DALLAS 115, PORTLAND 103

Portland took their first lead of the game with 32 seconds remaining in the third quarter before Dirk Nowitzki took charge. Nowitzki scored 16 of his game-high 42 points in the fourth, nearly outscoring the Blazers, who had 18, as Dallas went on to win 115-103 and take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series. The trio of Nowitzki, Raef LaFrentz and Michael Finley scored 22 of the Mavericks 30 first quarter points, helping them to jump out to an eight-point lead. The second quarter was a track meet as the two teams scored a combined 73 points with the Blazers outscoring Dallas 39-34. The Mavs controlled most of the third, until the Blazers went on an 8-0 run to close the quarter, taking an 85-84 lead into the final stanza. A Nick Van Exel runner with 9:45 remaining put Dallas ahead again 88-87 and the Blazers quickly found themselves down by double digits, unable to make another run. Nowitzki finished 15-of-20 from the floor, including a Mavericks' franchise playoff-high tying five three-pointers. He added a game-high tying 10 boards. Steve Nash recorded a double-double as well with 12 points and 10 assists. In all, six Mavs scored in double-digits and Dallas shot 50.6 from the field while holding the Blazers to 43.4%.

GAME 4 (APRIL 27, 2003) @ ROSE GARDEN (19,980) - PORTLAND 98, DALLAS 79

With their backs against the wall and facing elimination, the Trail Blazers used a huge third quarter performance to stun the Mavericks and force a Game 5 with a 98-79 victory. As far as the first half went, it was pretty much status quo in terms of how the series played out to that point. Dirk Nowitzki had 22 points at the break and the Mavs led 52-49. Dallas held the lead until a Zach Randolph layup tied things at 54 with 8:53 left in the third. The Blazers went on a tear, outscoring Dallas 28-6 the rest of the period, behind Randolph's 12 points. Dallas finished with a franchise playoff-low 10 points (for any quarter) and went on to set a new low for points in a half with 27. Michael Finley was the only starter to play more than a minute in the fourth and the Mavericks went on to lose by 19, their fifth largest playoff defeat in team history. Dallas shot just 37.3% from the floor with Steve Nash being held scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting. Nowitzki led all scorers with 26 and added a team-high 11 boards. Nick Van Exel was the only other Maverick in double figures with 18. Five Blazers scored in double-digits, led by Randolph's 25 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Portland's starters outscored the Mavs' starters 93-43.


For the first 46 minutes and 54 seconds of Game Five, the Mavericks looked to be in control, but Rasheed Wallace's 3-pointer with 1:06 left gave the Blazers their first lead of the game and they stood their ground the rest of the way, earning a 103-99 win. Dallas was sharp coming out of the gate and held a 21-15 edge after one period, despite shooting just 33.3% for the quarter. Michael Finley scored the Mavs first seven points, which is as many points as he had in all of Game Four. He scored 13 of his 15 total points in the first quarter. The Mavericks continued to play well in the second quarter and led by as many as 10 points. At the half, Dallas had three players with 12 or more points (Nick Van Exel with 14, Finley with 13 and Dirk Nowitzki with 12) but Portland was still down by only seven at 50-43. The Blazers began to make some noise halfway through the third and were able to tie the game at 66 on a Bonzi Wells 3-pointer but Dallas answered and extended the lead back to six heading into the final stanza. A Van Exel 3-pointer with 7:23 left made it 90-81 but Dallas was never able to give Portland the final knockout blow. The Blazers closed to within two at 96-98 and Wallace's three with just over a minute left put them up for good 99-98. All five Portland starters scored in double-digits, led by Zach Randolph's 22 points and 9 rebounds. Nowitzki led all players with 35 points and 11 boards while Van Exel chimed in with 25 off the bench.

GAME 6 (MAY 2, 2003) @ ROSE GARDEN (20,602) - PORTLAND 125, DALLAS 103

Portland made sure there wasn't much drama in Game 6, as they delivered a quick second quarter knockout blow and easily cruised to a 125-103 win. Dallas put an early scare into the Blazers as they jumped out to an early 18-11 first quarter lead. Portland responded quickly as they took a 23-22 lead on an Arvydas Sabonis dunk with 2:10 left in the first and never looked back. They blitzed the Mavs 37-14 in the second quarter on 59.3% shooting and recorded an assist on 12 of their 16 field goals. Portland refused to cool down in the third, as they shot 12-of-16 (75%) in the quarter which helped extend their lead to 97-66 heading into the fourth. Six Blazers scored in double-figures led by Zach Randolph's game-high 21 points. The Portland bench outscored the Dallas starters 55-54. Steve Nash led the Mavs with 21 points and Michael Finley finished with 20 which was his highest point total of the series. Dirk Nowitzki was held to 4 points on 2-of-11 shooting with no rebounds. The Mavs, as a team, recorded a franchise playoff-low of 15 defensive rebounds. The 22-point margin of defeat tied for the third largest in franchise playoff history.


In a game that was much closer than the final score of 107-95 indicated, the Mavericks won their first-ever Game 7. Dallas came out cold in the first quarter, shooting just 37.5% (9-of-24 FGs). However, despite a strong effort by Arvydas Sabonis, who had eight of his 16 points in the quarter, Portland led by only three points at the end of the first. Dallas actually shot worse (31.8%, 7-of-22 FGs) in the second quarter but went 11-of-12 from the line and held the Blazers to just 34.8% shooting as the game was tied at 45 at the half. Nick Van Exel played the entire second quarter scoring 10 points. The third period featured six lead changes and eight ties, with the Blazers finding themselves ahead 73-71 heading into the fourth after Damon Stoudamire hit a jumper with 0.8 seconds remaining. Dirk Nowitzki had 11 points in the quarter after being limited to just eight in the first half. A Steve Nash fastbreak layup put Dallas ahead 80-78 with 8:40 left in the game. Portland stayed close tying the game twice and grabbing a two-point lead (90-88) with 4:44 remaining. However, Dallas outscored the Blazers 14-2 to close the game out and win the series. Nowitzki scored seven of his 12 points in the fourth quarter during that run. He finished with game-highs of 31 points and 11 rebounds. Van Exel came off the bench and scored 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the fourth. Nash finished with 21 points, a team-high 7 assists and 6 rebounds. Six Portland players reached double figures including all five starters.

Conference Semi-Finals vs. Sacramento


Peja Stojakovic had 26 points and 9 rebounds and Chris Webber added 24 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds as the Kings dominated the Mavericks 124-113. The Kings used a 15-2 run in the first quarter building a 12-point lead that never was challenged. Dallas was only able to get within six points late in the second quarter but Sacramento was up by 12 again at halftime. Just four minutes into the third they stretched the lead to 20 and built it to as many as 28 with 5:19 remaining in the period. The final margin was the closest Dallas came in the second half. Bobby Jackson scored 23 points while Doug Christie had 13 and Keon Clark added 11. The Kings shot an overwhelming 55% from the field and 10 Kings scored. Dallas had some offensive firepower as well with five players in double figures. Michael Finley, Steve Nash and Nick Van Exel each scored 20 while Dirk Nowitzki had 18. Tariq Abdul-Wahad added 10 points in 15 minutes of action.


Nick Van Exel scored a then career playoff-high 36 points off the bench and Dirk Nowitzki had 24 to help the Mavericks even up their series with Sacramento with a 132-110 victory. After falling behind by 10 points early in the first quarter, Dallas started to put on an offensive show. Nowitzki made five of Dallas' 11 straight field goals in the first and Van Exel hit 8-of-9 shots in the first half as the Mavericks set an NBA playoff first half record with 83 points and were just one point shy of the first quarter mark with 44. Van Exel sparked a 30-7 run for Dallas in the second quarter with three straight 3-pointers that left the Kings listless. The Mavericks went on to lead by as many as 35 early in the fourth quarter. Michael Finley also had 24 points and Steve Nash added 19. Dallas became the first team since the 1995 Houston Rockets to score 130 points in a playoff game. Chris Webber scored 31 points in 29 minutes but was carried to the lockerroom by his teammates in the third quarter after injuring his left knee. He did not return. The Kings also lost Bobby Jackson in the fourth quarter as he fractured his cheekbone in a collision with Raef LaFrentz. Peja Stojokovid scored 24 points and Jim Jackson had 12 off the bench.

GAME 3 (MAY 10, 2003) @ ARCO CENTER (17,317) - DALLAS 141, SACREMENTO 137 (2OT)

The Mavericks were able to take advantage of the Webber-less Kings but it took them two thrilling overtimes to do so, as they defeated Sacramento 141-137. The Mavs' "Big Four" of Michael Finley, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and Nick Van Exel all scored 20 or more points. For the second straight game, Van Exel recorded a new career playoff-high, this time with 40 points. He set a Dallas franchise playoff-high with six 3-pointers and tied Finley's record with 12 attepts from behind the arc. Van Exel also added 7 assists and 7 rebounds. Nowitzki tallied 25 points and a playoff career-high 20 rebounds, joining Roy Tarpley as the only Maverick to record a 20-point, 20-rebound game in the playoffs. Nash finished with a playoff career-high 31 points to go along with a game-high 11 assists. Dallas drilled 19-of-42 (45.2%) 3-pointers. The 19 3's is the most a Dallas team has had regular season or playoffs and was one off of the NBA playoff record, while the 42 attempts shattered the old NBA playoff mark of 34. Seven Kings scored in double figures, led by Peja Stojakovic's playoff career-high 39 points. Sacramento came out energized to start the game and put up 36 points in the first quarter on 71.4% shooting. Dallas was down by 13 entering the second period but used a 39-point quarter to crawl back to within two at the break. In the third, the Mavs cooled off while Stojakovic heated up, as he went for 11 in the quarter, including 3-of-5 from downtown. The Kings held a nine-point lead to start the fourth quarter and extended their margin to 12 with 8:11 to play. The Mavs went on a 20-8 run to tie the game behind the efforts of Nash who had 12 points during a 5:46 stretch. Mike Bibby hit a wide-open three to give Sacramento a 113-111 edge with a minute left, but a Van Exel runner sent it into the first overtime. Neither team could pull away in the first bonus frame. With just under a minute left in the second overtime, Walt Williams sank a 3-pointer to give Dallas their biggest lead of the game, 138-135, and they were able to hold off the Kings for the win.

GAME 4 (MAY 11, 2003) @ ARCO CENTER (17,317) - SACRAMENTO 99, DALLAS 83

Game 4 didn't have an ounce of the drama Game 3 had, as Sacramento easily cruised to a 99-83 win while never trailing the entire game. Six Kings scored in double-figures, including all five starters. It was the Sacramento offense, but rather it's defense which took advantage of a Dallas team which was playing its fifth game in seven nights. After shooting the lights out from 3-point land the previous two games, the Mavericks missed their first 11 three's and finished just 3-of-20 (15%). They shot just 37.9% overall and came dangerously close to shooting the worst free throw percentage in franchise playoff history (8-15, 53.3%). All members of Dallas' "Big Four" struggled, after combining for 116 points less than 24 hours beforehand. Michael Finley, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and Nick Van Exel scored a combined 38 points, two less than Van Exel's total the night before. The Kings forced the Mavericks into 16 turnovers after Dallas committed just 10 in 58 minutes of play in Game 3. Hedo Turkoglu, who replaced the injured Chris Webber in the starting lineup, finished with a game-high 17 points. Doug Christie flirted with a triple-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists and Peja Stojakovic notched a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.


The Mavericks used a balanced scoring attack and a second-half comeback to beat Sacramento 112-93 in Game 5. Steve Nash, Nick Van Exel, Michael Finley and Dirk Nowitzki all had solid games for the Mavs but the surprise hero of the night was Raja Bell, who finished with 13 points. Bell provided the Mavs with a third quarter spark with four baskets and nine of his 13 points that quarter. Dallas outscored the Kings 29-10 in the third, turning a 15-point second quarter deficit into a 12-point lead. Bell's 3-pointer with 8:20 left in the third broke a 65-65 tie and put the Mavericks ahead for good. That also started a 15-4 run that game Dallas an 80-69 lead with 1:59 remaining in the third. The Kings shot just 3-of-25 that quarter setting an opponents-low for points in a quarter. Sacramento never got closer than 11 points in the fourth. Nash led Dallas with 25 points and Van Exel added 18 off the bench. Finley finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds while Nowitzki nearly recorded his first ever triple-double with 16 points, 15 rebounds and a career playoff-high 9 assists. Dallas also set a playoff record with 11 blocks with five of the rejections by Raef LaFrentz.

GAME 6 (MAY 15, 2003) @ ARCO CENTER (17,317) - SACRAMENTO 115, DALLAS 109

Both teams showed tremendous heart in Game 6, but it was the Sacramento Kings who came out the victor in an entertaining 115-109 contest. Facing elimination, the Kings refused to go away quietly and threatened to put the game severely out of reach on several occasions. However, the mavericks refused to give up, continuously battling back into contention, nearly pulling off a stunning come-from-behind win. The Kings and Mavs sputtered out of the gate offensively, with Dallas leading 24-21 after one quarter of play. Things heated up in the second, as a trio of reserves helped pick up the tempo. Nick Van Exel dropped 14 of his game-high 35 in the quarter and Sacramento's Jackson duo of Bobby and Jimmy combined for 22 points. The Kings led 57-52 at the half and extended the lead to 89-80 with 1:22 left in the third. Van Exel scored five points in less than a minute to cut the deficit to two heading into the fourth. The Mavericks took a 95-94 lead on a Van Exel jumper one just over eight minutes left but Sacramento went on a 9-0 run to make it 103-95 with 4:37 left. A pair of Steve Nash 3-pointers brought Dallas to within two at 111-109 and they could have taken the lead on a Walt Williams 3-point attempt that went astray with 11.7 seconds left. The Kings made their foul shots and closed the door on Dallas. Sacramento ws 12-of-12 from the foul line in the quarter and 31-of-32 for the game. Four Kings scored 20 or more points led by Peja Stojakovic's 24.


The Dallas Mavericks advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the second time in team history with a 112-99 victory over the Sacramento Kings in Game 7. The Mavs, who were up by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter, were led by Dirk Nowitzki's series-high 30 points on 12-of-20 shooting. He also added a game-high 19 rebounds, falling just shy of his second 20-point, 20-rebound game in the series. Steve Nash notched is own double-double with 18 points and a playoff-high 13 assists. He also added a career playoff-high tying seven rebounds. Nick Van Exel was stellar once again, coming off the bench to record 23 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. He also drilled 4-of-7 from downtown. Dallas outshot the Kings 49.5% to 41.9% and held Sacramento to just three second-chance points. The Mavericks got off to a good start defensively, holding the Kings to 19 first quarter points, their lowest total of the series. Sacramento was down 48-43 at the half and round themselves trailing by nine with 6:12 left in the third. They quickly shaved the lead to three with 4:32 left in the quarter but the Mavs extended the lead back to nine heading into the fourth. The closest the Kings came to Dallas in the final frame was 87-82 with 8:27 remaining. The Mavericks used an 18-5 run over the next 2:42 to stretch the lead to 18 and put the game out of reach and end the series.

Conference Finals vs. San Antonio

GAME 1 (MAY 19, 2003) @ SBC CENTER (18,797) - DALLAS 113, SAN ANTONIO 110

Usually a game which takes over three hours to play and has 98 free throw attempts isn't easy on the eyes but that wasn't the case in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals as the Mavericks won a 113-110 thriller. San Antonio looked as though they delivered an early knockout blow to a weary Dallas team as they led by as many as 18 in the first quarter. League MVP Tim Duncan was flat out dominant, scoring 16 of the Spurs' playoff-high 36 first-quarter points. The Mavericks refused to cave in and used a strong second quarter to cut the deficit to 66-57 at the break. Dallas tied the game at 78 with 3:34 to go in the third, but the Spurs closed out the quarter on a 13-4 run. With 8:05 remaining in the fourth, the San Antonio lead was back up to 14 at 101-87. Dallas went on a 12-0 run to pull within two with 5:05 left. A Michael Finley layup with less than five seconds to play game the Mavericks a 111-110 lead and San Antonio was unable to rally back. The Mavs held the lead for just 67 seconds. After Eduardo Najera missed the team's first foul shot of the game, the Mavs went on to make the next 49, which set a franchise playoff record for consecutive free throws. The Spurs outshot Dallas 48.6% to 40.3% with the Mavs recording a franchise playoff-low 10 assists. Duncan led all scorers with a playoff career-high 40 points. Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 38, adding a game-high tying 15 rebounds.

GAME 2 (MAY 21, 2003) @ SBC CENTER (18,797) - SAN ANTONIO 119, DALLAS 106

Game 2 had a lot in common with Game 1 except for two big differences: the Spurs made their foul shots and they won the game 119-106. Once again San Antonio held an early lead on Dallas, jumping ahead by as many as 17 in the first quarter. Dirk Nowitzki was called for three fouls within the first seven minutes of the game, which hampered the Mavericks' ability to rally. The Spurs erased all questions about their poor foul-shooting, hitting 16-of-16 in the first quarter. They extended the lead to as many as 28 late in the second and were up 69-44 at the break. Dallas made up a little ground in the third, pulling within 19 at the end of the quarter. Dallas used a 19-8 run early in the fourth to cut the deficit to 105-97 with just under 5 minutes remaining but that was as close as they would come. The Mavs shot 20-of-22 from the foul line, but San Antonio was 37-of-45. Tim Duncan and Malik Rose combined for 57 points and made 25-of-31 from the line. Michael Finley led Dallas with a playoff-high 29 points, also adding a playoff-high 10 rebounds.


The Mavericks lost more than just the game when Dirk Nowitzki left early in the fourth quarter with a sprained left knee. San Antonio was down by as many as 11 towards the start of the third, but went on a 19-7 run in just over five minutes to take the lead for good. They extended the margin to as many as 20 late in the fourth, cruising to a 96-83 win. Tim Duncan had game-highs of 34 points and 24 rebounds, recording a double-double in both halves. Duncan also added a team-high 6 assists and a game-high 6 blocks. Tony Parker notched a playoff career-high tying 29 points, adding a playoff-career high 8 boards. Nick Van Exel led Dallas with 16 points, but scored just three in the second half on 1-of-7 shooting. Nowitzki had 15 points and 9 boards before suffering his injury. The Mavs shot just 4-of-6 from the foul line. Both numbers smashed the previous franchise playoff-lows of 8-of-12. The Spurs dominated the boards 59 to 36. For the first time in the postseason, the Mavericks finished with more assists 924-19) and still lost.


Even without Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks put up a valiant effort in Game 4 but just didn't have enough firepower as San Antonio prevailed 102-95. Nick Van Exel, who made his first start of the postseason, got the Mavs going with 9 first quarter points, as Dallas took the lead into the second quarter (24-21) for the first time in the series. Manu Ginobli caught fire in the second, scoring 12 of the Spurs' 26 points in the quarter but Dallas still held a 52-47 edge at the break. Ginobli, who finished with a playoff career-high 21 points, equaled his previous high of 17 in the first half. The Mavericks shot 47.6% to the Spurs' 39.4% in the first two quarters. Dallas extended its lead all the way to 9 points at 64-55 with 2:19 left in the third before Tony Parker helped spark a Spurs comeback. San Antonio went on a 20-4 run to take a 75-68 lead, with Parker scoring 9 of those points. He finished with a game-high tying 25 points. The undermanned Mavericks twice rallied to within two points in the fourth but could never regain the lead. Tim Duncan recorded 21 points and game-highs of 20 rebounds and 7 assists to go along with a game-high tying 4 blocks. Michael Finley and Steve Nash both had a game-high tying 25 points, while Van Exel tallied 22 along with a team-high tying 8 boards. The Spurs outshot the Mavs 51.2% to 39.5% in the second half.

GAME 5 (MAY 27, 2003) @ SBC CENTER (18,797) - DALLAS 103, SAN ANTONIO 91

Dallas rallied from a 19-point first half deficit to extend the series in thrilling fashion, 103-91. The Spurs were on fire early, hitting 65.0% of their shots in the first quarter, garnering a 30-23 lead heading into the second. Things quickly turned ugly for the Mavericks, as they were down by 19 with just over 8 minutes left in the half but they were able to trim the deficit to 11 at the break. San Antonio used an 8-2 run to start the second half and build the lead back to 17 with 9:27 left in the quarter. Down 70-53 with 7:47 to go in the period, the Mavs used an 11-2 run to inch to within eight. Two minutes into the fourth Dallas trailed 81-80 and at the 7:34 mark they took the lead for good on a Raef LaFrentz dunk. Dallas outscored San Antonio 29-10 in the fourth. The 10 fourth quarter points tied the Maverick franchise playoff low for points by an opponent in any quarter. The Spurs shot just 29.7% in the second half after shooting 60.6% in the first two quarters. Michael Finley finished with a game-high 31 points, including 12-of-12 from the foul line. As a team, the Mavericks were a perfect 23-of-23 from the line. Nick Van Exel had 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter. For the first time since their Game 1 victory, Dallas outrebounded the Spurs, 42-38.


In a fourth quarter for the ages, the San Antonio Spurs got their biggest boost from the aging Steve Kerr. The 37-year-old Kerr nailed three 3-pointers as the Spurs scored 23 straight points in the fourth quarter to defeat the Dallas Mavericks and advance to the NBA Finals. With Tim Duncan struggling and Tony Parker playing with a stomach flu, the Spurs looked flat and trailed by as many as 15 points in the third quarter and 71-58 after a jumper by Nick Van Exel with 10:53 to play. However, the Spurs' wing play got hot as Manu Ginobli nailed a 3-pointer and Stephen Jackson made back-to-back shots from beyond the arc to pull San Antonio within 71-68 with 8:53 left. Kerr then tied the contest with a 3-pointer with 7:12 left, added another to put San Antonio ahead for good, 74-71 with 6:28 left and connected on a third shot from outside the arc with 5:14 to play to make it 79-71. Ginobli capped the 23-0 outburst with a pair of free throws with 3-1/2 minutes to go to give San Antonio an 81-71 advantage. The Spurs outscored the Mavericks 34-9 in the final 12 minutes, with Dallas scoring the last four points of the game in the final minute with the result no longer in doubt. Jackson scored a playoff career-high 24 points while Duncan contributed 18 to go with 11 rebounds. Van Exel paced the Mavs with 19 points. Dallas shot just 7-of-11 from the charity stripe and 5-of-18 from beyond the arc.

2002 Playoffs

First Round vs. Minnesota


The Mavericks used strong second and fourth quarters to win the first game of their best-of-five series against Minnesota 101-94. Dallas trailed 31-22 at the end of the first quarter but outscored the Timberwolves 28-16 in the second period to take a three-point halftime lead. The Mavs then outscored Minnesota 28-21 in the fourth to register the victory. Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 30 points and 15 rebounds. Steve Nash added 21 points while Nick Van Exel came off the bench to add 18 points. Michael Finley with 16 and Raef LaFrentz with 10 were also in double figures. Dallas outshot Minnesota 44% to 40% but were outrebounded 58-39. The Wolves also outscored the Mavs 26-2 in second-chance points as they had 20 offensive rebounds. Kevin Garnett led Minnesota with 19 points and 21 rebounds while Chauncey Billups had a team-high 25 points to go along with nine assists and six rebounds. The game also featured 15 lead changes and was tied seven times.


Dallas' big three faced an up-tempo game to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 122-110 to take a 2-0 lead in the series. Dirk Nowitzki had 31 points and 15 rebounds for the Mavericks, Michael Finley finished with 28 points and eight rebounds, while Steve Nash added 17 points and 10 assists. The game remained close through the first half as there were 17 ties and 12 lead changes. But the Mavs went on a decisive 19-7 run in the third quarter to go up by 13. The Timberwolves never got closer than eight points the rest of the way. Kevin Garnett led Minnesota with 31 points and 18 rebounds, while Wally Szczerbiak and Chauncey Billups each scored 25. Minnesota actually outshot Dallas 50.6%-4.9%, but the Mavericks had the edge from long range making eight more treys than the Wolves. The Mavs also controlled the break, outscoring Minnesota 27-12 in fast break points. Dallas set a playoff-low with six turnovers in the game.

GAME 2 (APRIL 28, 2002) @ TARGET CENTER (18,795) - DALLAS 115, MINNESOTA 102

For the first time in franchise history, the Dallas Mavericks swept a playoff opponent. Dallas moved on to the second round of the NBA Playoffs after defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves in three games, winning 115-102. Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 of his 39 points in the first quarter and Michael Finley had 13 of his 30 points in the third quarter to lead the Mavericks. Steve Nash added 25 points and 11 assists. Dallas got out to an early 35-18 lead and sustained that advantage through three quarters. Their largest lead was 20 points (97-7) just before the end of the third. In the fourth quarter, Minnesota went on a 22-7 run that trimmed Dallas lead to three at 104-101. The Mavs quickly went back up by five with a tip-in by Eduardo Najera and Minnesota never got any closer. Kevin Garnett had 22 points and 17 rebounds while Wally Szczerbiak and Anthony Peeler each scored 20 points for the Timberwolves. Dallas outshot Minnesota 44.9%-43.2% and made 54.2% of their 3-point attempts.

Conference Semi-Finals vs. Sacramento

GAME 1 (MAY 4, 2002) @ ARCO ARENA (17,317) - SACRAMENTO 108, DALLAS 91

Peja Stojakovic scored 26 points and Vlade Divac had 18 points and 16 rebounds as the Kings beat the Mavericks in Game 1. Sacramento played tough defense and capitalized on its low-post options as they scored nearly two-thirds of the Kings' points in the paint while outrebounding Dallas 53-43. Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 23 points and 14 rebounds which was his fourth consecutive double-double of the playoffs. Michael Finley had 21 points and Nick Van Exel had 15. The Mavericks were further limited when forward Eduardo Najera broke his thumb during warmups. Mke Bibby had 11 points and eight assists, while Bobby Jackson added 12 points in a reserve role. The Kings shot 46.2% while holding the Mavs to just 38.9% from the field.

GAME 2 (MAY 6, 2002) @ ARCO ARENA (17,317) - DALLAS 110, SACRAMENTO 102

Steve Nash scored a career playoff-high 30 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 22 points and 15 rebounds as the Mavericks evened the series with a 110-102 win. The Kings went scoreless for over three minutes down the stretch, which allowed Dallas to pull away. Raef LaFrentz broke a 93-93 tie with a dunk and a layup with 3:07 left to play. He finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Mavericks scored eight unanswered points in that stretch highlighted by Nowitzki's fast break dunk. Sacramento only got within five the rest of the way. Chris Webber had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings. The Mavs outshot Sacramento 48.3%-40.9% and had a 48-47 rebounding edge.


Mike Bibby scored 29 points and Doug Christie returned from a sprained right ankle to score 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Kings beat the Mavericks 125-119. Chris Webber led the Kings with 31 points and 15 rebounds. Sacramento relied on Bibby's hot shooting in the first quarter to grab a 15-point lead. Later in the game they leaned on Christie who sparked a 14-4 run midway through the fourth quarter that gave the Kings a 105-97 lead. Christie sprained his ankle in the second quarter and managed to come back with seconds left in the third. Michael Finley led the Mavericks with a career playoff-high 37 points. Dirk Nowitzki, who had recorded a double-double in each of the playoff games prior, only had 19 points and five rebounds in Game 3. Sacramento finished the game shooting 52.9% compared to Dallas' 45.7%. The Kings also held the rebounding advantage 47-38.


Sacramento erased a 14-point second half Dallas lead, which included a late 17-2 run, to tie the game before winning 115-113 in overtime and taking a 3-1 series advantage. Mike Bibby tied the game with a layup with 31 seconds remaining. Michael Finley had a chance to give Dallas the lead but his shot with eight seconds to play missed the mark. Bibby then missed a 3-pointer at the end of regulation. The Mavericks took a two-point lead with 3:30 to play on a Finley jumper by Scot Pollard tied the game with two free throws just 18 seconds later. Bibby hit what proved to be the game-winner with 12.4 seconds to play. Dirk Nowitzki missed a driving layup with 2.7 seconds remaining. Nowitzki led Dallas with 31 points and 12 rebounds. Finley added 28 points while Steve Nash added 24. Chris Webber led the Kings with 30 points while Bobby Jackson added 26 and Bibby 24. The Kings shot 47.6% from the field while Dallas shot just 43%. Sacramento won the battle of the boards 54-42.

GAME 5 (MAY 13, 2002) @ ARCO ARENA (17,317) - SACRAMENTO 114, DALLAS 101

Hedo Turkoglu jump-started the decisive run and recorded his first career playoff double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds as the Kings eliminated the Mavericks with a 114-101 victory. Dirk Nowitzki scored eight straight points to get Dallas within 70-69, but the Turkoglu made a putback layup with 4:55 left in the third quarter and added a 3-pointer and a jumper during a 16-4 run to close the period. Mike Bibby and Chris Webber added 23 points apiece to lead the Kings. Nowitzki registered 32 points and 12 rebounds and Michael Finley scored 26 points for the Mavericks. Sacramento held a big edge at the free-throw line, making 26-of-32 attempts while Dallas was just 15-of-20. The Kings took the lead for good with 8:49 remaining in the first quarter when Doug Christie made a fadeaway jumper to make it 10-8. Sacramento held a 32-26 edge after one quarter and took a 59-53 edge into halftime. The Kings led 68-61 when Webber aggravated a left ankle injury four minutes into the third quarter. After Vlade Divac made a reverse layup, Nowitzki -- taking advantage of Webber's absence -- made an eight-foot jumper, a nine-foot fadeaway, a dunk and a 20-foot jumper to get the Mavs to within a single point, 70-69, with 5:37 remaining. But Turkoglu scored of an offensive rebound to begin the Kings' counterattack, and by the time Webber returned with 3:16 left in the period, Sacramento's lead was back to eight points.

2001 Playoffs

First Round vs. Utah

GAME 1 (APRIL 21, 2001) @ DELTA CENTER (19,100) - UTAH 88, DALLAS 86

The Mavericks had their chances in the first playoff game in 11 years for the franchise as they fell by two points to the Jazz. Dallas led 86-82 after a driving layup by Steve Nash with 1:12 remaining before Utah's Danny Manning hit a 3-pointer with 58 seconds remaining to cut the lead to one. After a Dallas miss, John Stockton made two free throws to give the Jazz a one-point lead. Donyell Marshall made one of two free throws with 3.3 seconds to go for a two-point lead. Michael Finley's 3-point attempt at the buzzer was short in a last attempt for the Mavericks. A close game throughout, there were 16 lead changes and 6 ties. The biggest lead the Jazz had was 13 points while the largest for the Mavs was 7. Finley led Dallas with 26 points while Dirk Nowitzki added 20 points and a team-high 12 rebounds. The Mavericks outshot the Jazz 43.1% to 41.3% but were outrebounded 48-37.

GAME 2 (APRIL 24, 2001) @ DELTA CENTER (19,911) - UTAH 109, DALLAS 98

Karl Malone scored 34 points and Bryon Russell had 24 as the Utah Jazz took a 2-0 lead over the Dallas Mavericks with a 109-98 victory. John Stockton also added 17 points in 42 minutes. The Mavericks trailed by 20 points late in the third quarter but outscored the Jazz 15-6 over the first six minutes of the final period. Dallas pulled within 90-87 when Dirk Nowitzki hit a 3-pointer and was fouled by Russell. But the Jazz rattled off the next six points to seal the win. Michael Finley led the Mavericks with 32 points, Steve Nash added 20 and Juwan Howard had 17. Nowitzki struggled offensively shooting just 3-for-11 and scoring 15 points. The Jazz had a 31-30 rebounding edge but outshot the Mavericks 47.8% to 40.6%.

GAME 3 (APRIL 28, 2001) @ REUNION ARENA (18,187) - DALLAS 94, UTAH 91

Steve Nash hit a go-ahead turnaround jumper with 22.7 seconds to play as the Dallas Mavericks kept hope alive and pulled out a 94-91 win over the Utah Jazz. Dirk Nowitzki finished with 33 points and 10 rebounds, Juwan Howard added 18 points and a team-high-11 rebounds, while Nash had 16 points and a team-high seven assists. The Mavericks led early in the fourth quarter by 11 but the Jazz went ahead 91-90 with 34 seconds left on a layup by John Stockton, which was Utah's first lead since 18-16. Nash countered with his 10-footer to give Dallas a 92-91 edge. The next possession Michael Finley grabbed a bad pass and was fouled with eight seconds on the clock. Utah had one more chance but Stockton threw up a wild 3-pointer with five seconds to play. Nash grabbed the rebound and dribbled out the clock. Stockton finished with his first-ever playoff triple-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Karl Malone led the Jazz with 29 points and 13 rebounds. The Jazz outshot the Mavs 45.9% to 38.6% and outrebounded Dallas 49-45.

GAME 4 (MAY 1, 2001) @ REUNION ARENA (18,300) - DALLAS 107, UTAH 77

Dirk Nowitzki scored 16 of his 33 points in the third quarter and Steve Nash had 27 points as the Dallas Mavericks evened the series 2-2 with a 107-77 victory over the Utah Jazz. The 30-point win was the largest-ever in Mavericks playoff history. Michael Finley added 20 points and a team-high 12 rebounds. In the second quarter, Nash and Nowitzki combined to score 22 of Dallas' 28 points as Dallas turned a 10-point deficit into a 45-42m halftime lead. Karl Malone led the Jazz with 25 points and David Benoit added 12 points. Malone scored nine of the Jazz's first 16 and their first eight points in the third quarter. Dallas finished 13-of-25 from 3-point range, while Nowitzki set a playoff record hitting 5-of-10. The Mavericks outshot the Jazz 46.2% - 38.5% and outrebounded them 45-42.

GAME 5 (MAY 3, 2001) @ DELTA CENTER (19,911) - DALLAS 84, UTAH 83

Calvin Booth scored his only basket of the game with nine seconds remaining to give the Mavericks an 84-83 victory over Utah to win the first round series 3-2. Following a timeout, Utah had two shots to win the game but both John Stockton and Karl Malone misfired and the Mavs advanced. Dallas trailed by as many as 17 in the second half and by as many as 15 in the fourth quarter, but outscored the Jazz 27-12 in the final twelve minutes to earn the victory. The Mavericks led by a total of 28 seconds the entire game. Michael Finley led the Mavs with 33 points. The win game Dallas their first playoff series win since 1988 and they became only the sixth team in NBA history to erase a 0-2 deficit and go on to win a 5-game series.

Conference Semi-Finals vs. San Antonio

GAME 1 (MAY 5, 2001) @ ALAMODOME (32,798) - SAN ANTONIO 94, DALLAS 78

Tim Duncan scored 31 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Spurs to a 94-78 victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals. The Spurs led 16-11 at the end of the first quarter and 47-34 at the half. San Antonio then outscored the Mavericks 29-19 in the third to seal the victory. Michael Finley led Mavs with 17 points while Howard Eisley was the only other Maverick in double figures with 16 points off the bench. Shawn Bradley had 8 points and a team-high 12 rebounds and 6 blocks. Dallas shot just 37% from the field and made just 3-18 3-pointers. The Spurs shot 43.8% from the field and made 24-37 free throws. San Antonio also won the rebounding battle 50-42.

GAME 2 (MAY 7, 2001) @ ALAMODOME (27,690) - SAN ANTONIO 100, DALLAS 86

Tim Duncan had 25 points and 22 rebounds to lead the San Antonio Spurs past the Dallas Mavericks 100-86 in Game 2. Four other Spurs were in double figures including David Robinson who finished with 18 points. San Antonio outshot Dallas 51.9% to 34.2% and outrebounded them 45-38. Ahead by four points at the half, the Spurs increased their lead to 15 midway through the third quarter and never looked back. They outscored Dallas 29-20 in that period. [[Michael Finley] led the Mavs with 24 points and seven assists while Dirk Nowitzki added 19 points, including 11 from the free throw line. Howard Eisley had 12 points off the Mavericks bench, while Steve Nash and Shawn Bradley chipped in 10 each. The Spurs once again used their inside game to their advantage, outscoring Dallas 4-20 in the paint. The Mavericks kept the game close hitting 25-29 free throws compared to the Spurs' 8-12 mark from the line.

GAME 3 (MAY 9, 2001) @ REUNION ARENA (18,237) - SAN ANTONIO 104, DALLAS 90

The Spurs took control of the Western Conference Semifinal series with a 14-point victory over Dallas. The Mavericks were down by just 5 points at halftime (48-43) but the Spurs outscored them 30-11 in the third quarter to take control of the game. Poor shooting once again plagued the Mavs as they shot just 34.7% from the field. Meanwhile the Spurs shot 48% from the floor. David Robinson had 19 points and 14 rebounds while Tim Duncan added 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead San Antonio. Dirk Nowitzki, who suffered from stomach flu earlier in the day, led Dallas with 15 points. For the third consecutive game, the Spurs won the rebounding battle 54-48. Greg Buckner was a bright spot off the Mavs bench as he had 14 points and 12 rebounds.

GAME 4 (MAY 12, 2001) @ REUNION ARENA (18,187) - DALLAS 112, SAN ANTONIO 108

Dirk Nowitzki scored a team-high 30 points and Michael Finley added 25 as the Mavericks avoided elimination, beating the Spurs 112-108. Dallas improved to 4-0 in elimination games in the playoffs. The Mavs broke out of their shooting slump connecting on 48.4% of their shots and kept the rebounding close only being outrebounded by six boards (47-41). Dallas had six players in double figures and two had double-doubles. Juwan Howard scored 17 points, followed by Calvin Booth with 16 and Shawn Bradley and Steve Nash both with 10. The Mavericks returned to their up-tempo, jump shooting style of play and led by as many as 17 in the first half. San Antonio answered with a 19-4 run that made it a two-point game at the half. The Spurs led by three early in the fourth quarter but the Mavs kept hitting clutch shots every time San Antonio would make a run. The Spurs led by Tim Duncan who finished with 29 points and 18 rebounds. David Robinson had 25 points and 13 rebounds, while Antonio Daniels added 18 points.

GAME 5 (MAY 14, 2001) @ ALAMODOME (25,853) - SAN ANTONIO 105, DALLAS 87

Tim Duncan had 32 points and 20 rebounds as San Antonio cruised past Dallas 105-87 to end the Mavericks' run through the playoffs. After blowing a chance for a sweep in Dallas, the Spurs made it clear from the start of the game that they wanted to prepare for the next round and not go back up 1-35 for a sixth game. Duncan and Robinson threw down dunks for San Antonio's first two baskets and a 3-pointer by Danny Ferry put the Spurs up by double digits within eight minutes. The Spurs, who trailed by 17 early in losing Game 4, made 15 of their first 20 shots and led by at least 11 for the final three quarters. The Mavs, which had won four straight elimination games during the postseason, didn't have the energy - or accuracy - to come back. Except for Dirk Nowitzki, who scored a career-high 42 points and had 18 rebounds, the Mavericks resumed the inept shooting that cost them the first three games of the series. Michael Finley missed 16 of 17 shots and Dallas was 9-for-11 on 3-pointers.

1990 Playoffs

First Round vs. Portland


Portland opened their best-of-five series against the Mavericks with a 109-102 win. Dallas was within two, 91-89, with 4:28 to play after [Derek Harper]] who led Dallas with 24 points, connected on a three-pointer. Thirty seconds later Jerome Kersey hit an 18-footer beginning a run of nine unanswered points (five by Kevin Duckworth) which allowed the Blazers to build it's lead to 100-89 with 1:14 to play. The Mavs were able to stay close despite Portland outrebounding them 47-33, including 20-8 on the defensive glass. The Mavericks, who were already without Brad Davis (pulled right hamstring) and Adrian Dantley (fractured right leg), are hampered even further when Rolando Blackman and Roy Tarpley each picked up three first half fouls. Tarpley led Dallas on the boards with 14 rebounds while adding 22 points and a club playoff record-tying five blocked shots. Portland was led by Terry Porter's 28 points and Buck Williams' 16 rebounds. The game marked the first time that Dallas had ever opened a first-round series on the road and the first time Dallas ever lost Game One in the first round.


For the first time in their playoff history, Dallas falls behind 2-0 in the first round, losing to Portland 114-107. The Mavericks' jumped out to a 15-point lead, 38-23, late in the first period, but reserve guards Drazen Petrovic and Danny Young get the Blazers back into the game by combining for 20-straight Portland points and 22 of the Blazers' first 24 second period points. Petrovic scored nine of the TrailBlazers' first 11 points in the second quarter and finished with 14 on the night. In the fourth period, Portland center Kevin Duckworth, whose 18 points led seven Blazers in double-figures, scored 12 points on six-of-seven shooting as they took a 90-83 advantage. Derek Harper and Rolando Blackman combined for 37 points in the first half, but managed only four in the fourth period. Harper scored two of his team-high 23 points in the second half. The Mavs allowed the Blazers just five offensive rebounds in the second half, after allowing 16 in the first half, but Portland still scored 35 second-chance points in the game. Roy Tarpley led Dallas with 17 rebounds whole also adding 22 points in a club playoff record 48 minutes. The Blazers were led on the boards by Buck Williams' 13 rebounds.

GAME 3 (MAY 1, 1990) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - PORTLAND 106, DALLAS 92

Dallas is swept for the first time in their playoff history as the Blazers win 106-92. Roy Tarpley played 42 minutes but missed ten of his twelve shots and six-of-eight free throws while turning the ball over five times. Tarpley, bothered by an upset stomach, finished with six points and 15 rebounds. Buck Williams missed the final three periods after catching an inadvertent elbow from James Donaldson. Williams suffered cuts above and below his right eye and was taken to Baylor Medical Center with blurred vision. Portland was further crippled when Kevin Duckworth had to leave after suffering a broken right hand with two minutes left in the third period. Still, the Mavs could not overcome Jerome Kersey (29 points), Clyde Drexler (20 points, 10 assists) and Terry Porter (20 points, nine assists). Dallas was led by Rolando Blackman's 23 points.

1988 Playoffs

First Round vs. Houston

GAME 1 (APRIL 28, 1988) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - DALLAS 120, HOUSTON 110

Dallas took a 1-0 lead in their first-round series against Houston with a 120-11- victory. The Mavericks broke open a close game in the second period. Ahead 43-42 with 5:52 left in the first half, the Mavs (led by six Roy Tarpley points) went on an 18-4 run to lead 61-46 at halftime. The Rockets drew within five, 90-85, with 8:03 to play, but Dallas went on a 15-7 run which featured baskets by seven different Mavericks. The Mavs scored 43 points in the fourth period to establish a club playoff record. The win marked the first time Dallas had won a playoff game when neither Mark Aguirre (who finished with 16 points on six-of-15 shooting) nor Rolando Blackman (who scored 15 points on six-of-18 shooting)failed to score 20 points.

GAME 2 (APRIL 30, 1988) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - HOUSTON 119, DALLAS 108

Before a national CBS television audience, Houston evened the series at a game apiece with a 119-108 victory. Sleepy Floyd (42 points) and Hakeem Olajuwon (41) became the second teammates in NBA playoff history to score 40-plus points in the same game. Elgin Baylor (45 points) and Jerry West (41) accomplished the feat for the Lakers on March 19, 1962 at Detroit. Olajuwon also added 26 rebounds, the most-ever against Dallas in any game. The Rockets led, 107-105 with 1:34 to play, but the Mavericks didn't score gain until Brad Davis hit a three-pointer with nine seconds remaining. The Rockets ended the game on a 16-5 run as Olajuwon scored eight of those points. The loss came despite the Mavs' bench outscoring the Rockets reserves 41-9.

GAME 3 (MAY 3, 1988) @ THE SUMMIT (16,611) - DALLAS 93, HOUSTON 92

Roy Tarpley scored six of his 17 points in the final 3:46, including the game-winner, a seven-footer on the left side with 1:08 to play, in leading Dallas to a 93-92 win over Houston in Game Three. The Rockets had a chance to win with :12 to play when Rodney McCray grabbed a rebound from Rolando Blackman, but following a Rockets' timeout, Hakeem Olajuwon missed a 15-footer and Sam Perkins slapped the ball back toward midcourt as the game ended. The win snapped a five-game road playoff losing streak and if the third road playoff win in club history. Tarpley's 17 points led the way for Dallas - the fewest points ever by a Mavericks leading scorer in a playoff win.

GAME 3 (MAY 5, 1988) @ THE SUMMIT (16,611) - DALLAS 107, HOUSTON 97

Mark Aguirre broke out of his series-long shooting slump by setting a Mavericks record (regular season or playoffs) for points in a period with 27 in the third period of Dallas' 107-97 series-clinching win over Houston. Aguirre had averaged 15 ppg on .409 shooting in the first three games of the series and had just six points on two-of-eight shooting in the first half. In the third period, however, he shot 10-of-11 (including three-of-four three-pointers) in the third quarter and finished with 38 points. For the series, Hakeem Olajuwon, who had 40 points in Game Four, finished with 150 points in the series, breaking the NBA record for points in a four-game series, previously held by Bob Pettit of St. Louis (144, set in 1963 vs. Detroit). The win marked the third time in their five-year playoff history that the Mavericks advanced to the conference semi-finals.

Conference Semi-Finals vs. Denver

GAME 1 (MAY 10, 1988) @ McNICHOLS ARENA (17,022) - DENVER 126, DALLAS 115

The Midwest Division Champion Denver Nuggets took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semi-finals by defeating Dallas 126-115. Denver shot 58% for the game and went 26-of-28 from the free throw line as Fat Lever scored a game-high 30 points (12-of-17 shooting) and grabbed 11 rebounds. In the final four minutes of the first half and the first four minutes of the second half, the Mavericks were outscored 28-6 and trailed by 20, 73-53, with 8:13 to go in the third period. Dallas was within eight points late, but Lever hit a three-pointer, just beating the 24-second buzzer, to put Denver up 120-109 with :54 remaining.

GAME 2 (MAY 12, 1988) @ McNICHOLS ARENA (17,022) - DALLAS 112, DENVER 108

Rolando Blackman scored 31 points and Roy Tarpley chipped in 27 points and 13 rebounds as Dallas downed the Nuggets, 112-108. The win is the Mavs' first road win ever in the conference semi-finals (the Mavericks had been 0-7 all-time before this). Blackman hit a jumper with 6:03 to go in the third quarter, knotting the score at 65 and starting a 13-2 Dallas run which gave them the lead for good. The victory came despite Mark Aguirre matching his career playoff low with nine points. Fat Lever and Alex English led Denver with 22 points apiece. The win is the Mavericks' third on the road this postseason after a 2-12 road record in the club's first four playoff appearances. The win is also the Mavs' 57th win (when combining playoffs and regular season) surpassing the 1986-1987 record of 56 combined wins.

GAME 3 (MAY 14, 1988) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - DENVER 107, DALLAS 105

Denver took a 2-1 lead in the series as Bill Hanzlik hit a layup with three second remaining to give the Nuggets their first lead of the game and a 107-105 victory. The Nuggets tied the game at 105 with :35 to play when Hanzlik hit a 10-foot jumper. Following a Dallas timeout, Sam Perkins, who scored a Mavericks-high 17 points, missed a floater in the lane and the Nuggets grabbed the rebound with :20 to play. In the final 3:04, Dallas was outscored 8-2, getting only a [[Rolando Blackman] jumper at 1:17. The Mavericks lost despite outshooting the Nuggets (.500 to .469) and outrebounding them (50-47). Fat Lever recorded the first triple-double by an opponent in Dallas playoff history, scoring 11 points with 11 rebounds and 12 assists. Alex English leads all scorers with 23 points.

GAME 4 (MAY 15, 1988) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - DALLAS 124, DENVER 103

Mark Aguirre scored 34 points as Dallas tied the series 2-2, with a 124-103 win. Denver played without Fat Lever (strained right knee) and Jay Vincent (pulled right calf muscle). The Mavericks built the lead to as much as 26 points (95-69) with :24 left in the third period. Dallas outshot Denver, .546-.402. Roy Tarpley (24 points and 13 rebounds) recorded his sixth double-double in eight playoff games coming off the bench.

GAME 5 (MAY 17, 1988) @ McNICHOLS ARENA (17,022) - DALLAS 110, DENVER 106

On the day that Roy Tarpley learned he had won the NBA Sixth Man Award, Mark Aguirre, who scored a Mavericks-high 25 points, canned a three-pointer with :19 remaining to give Dallas a 110-106 road win and a 3-1 advantage in the series. The Nuggets, who played without Fat Lever (strained right knee) and Jay Vincent (pulled right calf) for the second-straight game, missed seven-straight fourth period free throws. Dallas' lead is cut to 104-102 with 1:22 to play when Dan Schayes connected on two free throws. Brad Davis then penetrated the lane, drawing Alex English away from Aguirre, who's left open for the winning three-pointer.

GAME 6 (MAY 19, 1988) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - DALLAS 108, DENVER 95

The Mavericks advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in team history with a 108-95 win over Denver. The win wrapped up the series for Dallas 4-2. Rolando Blackman, who scored 23 points, gave the Mavericks their biggest boost. He scored seven points during a 10-2 run late in the game. Blackman's efforts help offset a brilliant performance by Denver's Alex English, who scored 34 points on 16-of-29 shooting. The Nuggets drew within one point, 94-93, when T.R. Dunn hit a 17-footer from the wing with 3:30 to play, but that's when Blackman took over. His driving three-point play with 1:00 remaining put Dallas up 101-95. Sam Perkins added 23 points and Roy Tarpley had 18 points and 19 rebounds off the bench.

Conference Finals vs. L.A. Lakers

GAME 1 (MAY 23, 1988) @ THE FORUM (17,505) - LOS ANGELES 113, DALLAS 98

The Lakers, who led 52-49 at the half, made 12 of their first 16 shots to begin the third period and built their lead to as much as thirteen in the third, on their way to defeating Dallas, 113-98, in the Mavericks first ever appearance in the conference finals. It marked the 10th-straight series in which the Lakers had won the opener. Dallas went on a 15-1 run in the second period to open a 47-42 lead with 4:21 to play in the first half. However, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who scored 13 first half points on six-of-seven shooting from the field, ignited a 7-2 run which gave Los Angeles a 52-49 lead at the intermission. Sam Perkins, who scored all eight of his points in the second half, kept the mavericks, who sot just .625 from the foul line, within four with 8:02 to play in the third. Dallas outrebounded the Lakers (39-31) for the first time in their six meetings this season and Roy Tarpley led the way with a career playoff high/club record-tying 20 rebounds. Tarpley, Mark Aguirre and Rolando Blackman led Dallas with 18 points each.

GAME 2 (MAY 25, 1988) @ THE FORUM (17,505) - LOS ANGELES 123, DALLAS 101

Byron Scott scored 30 points and Los Angeles shot .615 from the field to defeat the Mavericks, 123-101 and take a 2-0 lead in the series. Michael Cooper hit a three-pointer with 10:20 to go in the first half to give the Lakers a lead they never relinquished. Scott, who averaged 29.4 ppg against Dallas in the regular season, scored nine points in the pivotal fourth period, as Los Angeles outscored Dallas, 30-22, in the stanza to take an 89-70 lead. The Mavs, who for the second straight game outrebounded the Lakers (36-28), never mounted a serious run in the fourth quarter as they dropped back-to-back games for the first time in the 1988 playoffs.

GAME 3 (MAY 27, 1988) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - DALLAS 106, LOS ANGELES 94

Led by Roy Tarpley, who records the first 20-point/20-rebound game in Mavericks playoff history by scoring 21 points and grabbing 20 rebounds (11 on the offensive end), Dallas drew within 2-1 of Los Angeles in the series with a 106-94 win. The Mavs trailed 76-75 after three quarters but Sam Perkins scored nine points and Tarpley grabbed eight rebounds in the fourth period as the Mavericks outscored the Lakers 31-18. Dallas shot just .452, but compensated by dominating the boards 52-33. Mark Aguirre led all scorers with 23 points while adding 10 rebounds. For the Mavs, who have never fallen behind a series 3-0, it was their first ever win in the conference finals and gave Coach John MacLeod 45 career playoff wins, moving him past Jack Ramsay, and into a tie with Alex Hannum for 10th place on the all-time list.

GAME 4 (MAY 29, 1988) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - DALLAS 118, LOS ANGELES 104

Derek Harper scored 35 points to lead the Mavericks to a 118-104 win over the Lakers and a 2-2 tie in the series. Ahead 89-81 after three periods, Dallas outrebounded Los Angeles 22-5 in the final stanza and held the Lakers to just nine-of-20 shooting in the quarter. In a key exchange, Mychal Thompson missed a 12-footer and James Donaldson grabbed the rebound, which led to a 19-foot jumper by Roy Tarpley to put Dallas up 101-94. The Mavs held Los Angeles scoreless for nearly three-and-a-half minutes. Harper scored 18 firs half points on eight-of-12 shooting to stake the Mavs to a 57-56 halftime lead. The Mavericks shot a blazing .549 from the field.

GAME 5 (MAY 31, 1988) @ THE FORUM (17,505) - LOS ANGELES 119, DALLAS 102

Los Angeles ran off to a 17-point lead at halftime and cruised to a 119-102 victory and a 3-2 series lead. The Mavericks jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the first 2:30 but the Lakers then ripped off a 20-4 run to take a 24-14 advantage. James Worthy, who paced L.A. with 28 points, hit seven-of-10 shots en route to 18 first half points. Magic Johnson added to the Lakers first half fire with 11 points, including seven points coming in the final 3:45 of the half (two 19-foot jumpers and a three-pointer). Los Angeles shot .667 for the first half (26-of-39) and 60 percent for the game (51-of-85). Mark Aguirre led all scorers with 31 points. Detlef Schrempf sprained his right ankle at the end of the third period and missed the remainder of the series.

GAME 6 (JUNE 2, 1988) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - DALLAS 105, LOS ANGELES 103

The Mavericks came back from the brink of elimination with a 105-103 win over the Lakers to even the series at 3-3. James Donaldson blocked a James Worthy drive across the lane with three seconds left to protect a 104-104 Dallas lead. Donaldson grabbed the rebound and was fouled by Byron Scott with two seconds left. He made one-of-two free throws to give the Mavs the final margin. Mark Aguirre, who scored just four points with five rebounds in the first half, finished with a team-high 23 points and 13 rebounds. Aguirre hit a huge shot with 1:28 left, grabbing a miss by Roy Tarpley and converting the follow-up to give the Mavs a 104-100 lead. Worthy made it a 104-102 game with 1:08 left when he got inside for a layup. But on a drive with 33 seconds left that would have tied the score, Worthy had the ball stripped by Tarpley. Worthy and Byron Scott led the Lakers with 27 points each.

GAME 7 (JUNE 4, 1988) @ THE FORUM (17,505) - LOS ANGELES 117, DALLAS 102

The Mavericks played their firs seventh game ever, but the Lakers pulled away in the closing minutes for a 117-102 victory. Dallas stayed close until late in the third period when Los Angeles went on an 11-3 run and went up 87-77. Dallas was within 100-94 with 5:34 to play, but a James Worth dunk with five minutes to play and a tip-in by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 40 seconds later made it 104-94 and triggered a 15-2 L.A. run which wrapped it up. James Worthy scored a game-high 28 points. Mark Aguirre scored 24 points to pace the Mavs. Aguirre missed nearly three minutes in the fourth period after bending back two fingers on his non-shooting hand and aggravating an injury to his knuckles. James Donaldson scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Donaldson finished the series with a .744 (32-of-43) field goal percentage - an NBA record for a seven-game series. Upon arriving at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport following the Game Seven loss, 4,500 fans crowded the terminal to welcome the Mavericks home. The Lakers went on to beat the Detroit Pistons in the championship series - becoming the NBA's first repeat champions since the 1968-69 Boston Celtics.

1987 Playoffs

First Round vs. Seattle

GAME 1 (APRIL 23, 1987) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - DALLAS 151, SEATTLE 129

Dallas set 11 club records - including most points scored in a game (151) and won Game One going away, 151-129 over the SuperSonics. The Mavericks, who shot .598 for the game, led by as many as 32 points (120-88) in the fourth period, before Seattle's offense finally got on track, scoring 41 points in the final stanza to shave the margin. Rookie Roy Tarpley got Dallas off to a good start, scoring 12 points on five-of-six shooting with five rebounds in the first half. Tarpley finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds in 32 minutes off the bench. Ten Mavericks finished in double figures, tying the NBA playoff record for most players in double figures in one game. Prior to the game the Mavs raised their 1986-1987 Midwest Division Championship banner.

GAME 2 (APRIL 25, 1987) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - SEATTLE 112, DALLAS 110

Former Maverick Dale Ellis hit two free throws with two seconds left and the Sonics evened the series, 1-1, with a 112-110 win before a shocked Reunion Arena crowd. With the score tied at 110 and four seconds remaining in regulation, Derek Harper was called for traveling as he attempted to trigger an inbounds pass from the backcourt. Seattle took control of the ball on their end of the court and Ellis was fouled by Sam Perkins. Ellis finished with 32 points, six rebounds and six assists. The Mavs looked as if they were going to take control of the game when they held an eight point lead with 2:53 remaining in the first half, but Ellis and Xavier McDaniel brought the Sonics to within one, 64-63, at the intermission.


Dale Ellis scored 43 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to push the Mavericks to the brink of elimination as the Sonics prevailed, 117-107. Due to a scheduling conflict - an agricultural show at the Seattle Coliseum and the Mariners occupying the Kingdome - Game Three (as well as Game Four) moved to the Hec Edmundson Pavillion on the campus of the University of Washington. The Sonics built an early lead, 26-15 after one period, as the Mavericks went ice cold, going the final 8:55 of the period without a field goal touching the bottom of the net (Brad Davis had a shot goaltended with 40 seconds left). That lead expanded to 55-37 at halftime and 89-73 entering the final period. Derek Harper, who led Mavericks scorers with 30 points, paced the comeback attempt in the fourth quarter. Harper scored 12 points to cut the Seattle advantage to six points. But free throws by Xavier McDaniel and Nate McMillan iced the game for the SuperSonics. James Donaldson, who was suffereing from a stress reaction in his right leg (aggravated in Game One), was held scoreless with only one rebound in 15 minutes on the floor.


Seattle outscored the Mavericks 36-21 to blow open the game and end Dallas' season 124-98. The victory meant that the Sonics became the first seventh seed to knock off a number two seed since the NBA expanded to a 16-team playoff format in 1983-1984. The Sonics jumped on Dallas early, scoring 11 of the game's first 13 points and leading 33-21 after one period. James Donaldson missed the game, breaking a streak of 537 consecutive games, due to a stress reaction in his right leg. Tom Chambers led Seattle with 31 points. Rolando Blackman scored 25 for the Mavs while Roy Tarpley grabbed 17 rebounds. For the series, Seattle's Dale Ellis averaged 29.5 ppg and eight rebounds.

1986 Playoffs

First Round vs. Utah

GAME 1 (APRIL 18, 1986) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - DALLAS 101, UTAH 93

The Mavericks off-set three-of-13 shooting in the fourth quarter by holding the Utah scoreless in the final 4:40 and won Game One, 101-93. The win marked the first time Dallas held a playoff opponent under 100 points since beating Seattle 107-96, in Game Four of the 1984 playoffs. Although Mark Aguirre and Sam Perkins combined for just 10-of-29 shooting, Utah's starting forwards, Karl Malone and Thurl Bailey aren't much better, combining for 14-of-34. The Jazz play (as they did for the remainder of the series) without forward Adrian Dantley (back), who finished the regular season as the NBA's second-leading scorer at 29.8 points per game and Darrell Griffith (left foot stress fracture).

GAME 2 (APRIL 20, 1986) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - DALLAS 113, UTAH 106

Following the same script as Game One, the Mavericks go cold from the field in the fourth period (shooting just five-of-16) but hold Utah to the equally dismal six-of-17 shooting as Dallas took a 2-0 series lead with a 113-106 win. It marked the first time the Mavs had ever won the first two games of a playoff series. Dallas grabbed the lead quickly in this one, jumping out to a 10-point lead with 6:44 to play in the opening stanza. Mark Aguirre, who was stricken by back spasms in the final 18 seconds of Game One, played and contributed 27 points.

GAME 3 (APRIL 23, 1986) @ SALT PALACE (11,635) - UTAH 100, DALLAS 98

The Jazz avoided a first round sweep when rookie Karl Malone hit a turnaround jumpshot with 50 seconds to play to put Utah up for good 100-98. The Mavericks had a chance to tie but Rolando Blackman's shot rolled off the rim with one second remaining and Rickey Green grabbed the rebound as time expired. The loss marked Dallas' sixth-straight road playoff defeat. James Donaldson grabbed 20 rebounds, becoming the first Mav to reach that mark in the postseason.

GAME 4 (APRIL 25, 1986) @ SALT PALACE (12,683) - DALLAS 117, UTAH 113

Brad Davis set an NBA playoff record by shooting five-of-five from three-point range to lead Dallas to a series-clinching 117-113 victory. The Mavericks took a four-point lead into the fourth period and stretched it to as many as 13 points thanks mostly to Davis, who scored 15 of his career-playoff-high 26 points in the final quarter. Sam Perkins, who had shot just 38 percent in the first three games of the series, exploded from his doldrums by scoring 19 first half points as the Mavs forged a 55-54 halftime lead. Perkins finished with 29 points and 12 rebounds.

Conference Semi-Finals vs. L.A. Lakers

GAME 1 (APRIL 27, 1986) @ THE FORUM (17,505) - LOS ANGELES 130, DALLAS 116

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 28 points to lead the Lakers to an easy 130-116 victory in the first game of the Western Conference Semi-finals. The Lakers led, 66-48, at the half and by as many as 25 points midway through the third period. With Kareem scoring 10 first period points, Los Angeles scored the game's first six points and jumped out to a 16-6 lead with 6:58 to play in the first period. The Mavericks, who were outshot 61 percent to 44 percent for the contest, entered having dropped four-of-five regular season meetings between the two clubs. Jay Vincent paced Dallas with 18 points off the bench but shot just six-of-14 in the process.

GAME 2 (APRIL 30, 1986) @ THE FORUM (17,505) - LOS ANGELES 117, DALLAS 113

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 26 points this night as Los Angeles fought off the Mavericks, 117-113, to take a 2-0 lead in the series. With the score tied at 108, Kareem took over, connecting on three skyhooks in the final 3:17. Dallas built momentum early, leading by as many as 12 points after Rolando Blackman connected on a 17-foot jumper with 1:29 remaining in the first half. Mark Aguirre scored 28 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and handed out seven assists, but fouled out with 5:33 to play in the fourth period and the score knotted at 100.

GAME 3 (MAY 2, 1986) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - DALLAS 110, LOS ANGELES 108

Derek Harper connected on a three-pointer with three seconds left in the game to propel the Mavericks to a 110-108 win and cut the Lakers' lead in the series to 2-1. Following a Rolando Blackman layup cut the Lakers lead to 108-107 with 24 seconds left, Blackman immediately fouled Michael Cooper. Cooper missed both free throws with 19 seconds remaining. Mark Aguirre's shot to put Dallas ahead was short, but when James Worthy attempted to rebound the miss, he lost his balance and hurled the ball over his shoulder to keep from falling out of bounds with it. The ball went straight to Harper, who connected on a three-pointer with three seconds on the clock. Harper, who finished with 24 points, tied the game with a three-pointer with 1:46 to play, but Byron Scott immediately answered with a three of his own. Harper's heroics are almost to years to the day after he inadvertently dribbled out the clock in Game Four of the 1984 playoff series against Los Angeles. Aguirre finished with 27 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

GAME 4 (MAY 4, 1986) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - DALLAS 120, LOS ANGELES 118

Mark Aguirre hit a turnaround jump shot from the left baseline in the final seconds to give Dallas a 120-118 win over Los Angeles and even the series at 2-2. Aguirre, who scored a game-high 39 points on 19-of-30 shooting, came out blazing. He scored 21 points in the first period (mostly on long jumpers) as the Mavs put together a 21-5 run in the final 4:20 of the period to take a 45-33 advantage into the second quarter. Those 45 first period points tied an NBA playoff record for most points in the first period. The Mavericks took an 11-point lead into the fourth quarter after Bill Wennington beat the third period buzzer and connected on his first career three-pointer. Aguirre also dished out ten assists in the game.

GAME 5 (MAY 6, 1986) @ THE FORUM (17,505) - LOS ANGELES 116, DALLAS 113

Dallas shot just 20-of-32 from the free throw line as Los Angeles took a 3-2 series advantage with a 116-113 victory. The Lakers seemingly had the game salted away in the fourth period, leading 115-110, with five seconds to play, but Brad Davis connected on a three-pointer to bring the Mavs within a bucket. Following a Mark Aguirre foul with one second left, James Worthy hit one-of-two free throws to put the Lakers up 116-113. Aguirre's desperation heave, however, missed the mark and the Lakers took a game advantage in the best-of-seven series. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar led all scorers with 34 points, while Aguirre paced Dallas with 27.

GAME 6 (MAY 8, 1986) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - LOS ANGELES 120, DALLAS 107

Los Angeles closed out the series, 4-2, with a 120-107 victory in Reunion Arena. The Lakers led by as many as 20 points early in the third period, but Mark Aguirre scored 12 of his game-high 28 points to bring the Mavericks within two at 91-79 with 1:39 to play in the quarter. However, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tossing in 27 points, the Lakers gradually built the lead back up in the fourth period and won going away. Aguirre hurt his ankle with 3:09 left in the third quarter and was able to play only a few minutes in the fourth quarter before limping off.

1985 Playoffs

First Round vs. Portland

GAME 1 (APRIL 18, 1985) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - DALLAS 139, PORTLAND 131 (2OT)

Rolando Blackman broke Dallas' single-game playoff scoring record with 43 points as Dallas took a 1-0 lead in the series with a 139-131 victory in double overtime. The Blazers seemingly had the game won (they held a two-point lead with 17 seconds remaining and possession of the ball), but an errant pass by Mychal Thompson allowed Blackman to hit a 13-foot jumper with six seconds left in the first overtime. The Mavericks took control in the second overtime, as Blackman scored seven points. Portland took their largest lead of the game, 53-38, with 2:35 to play in the first half, but the Mavs retook the lead 988-85) entering the fourth period after an explosive 40-point third period which is highlighted by 12 points from Mark Aguirre. Following a 27-18 fourth quarter run, Portland took a two-point lead with 10 seconds remaining in regulation. Blackman, however, hit a four-foot jumper in the lane with four seconds remaining to knot the score at 112 and send the game into overtime.

GAME 2 (APRIL 20, 1985) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - PORTLAND 124, DALLAS 121 (OT)

The Blazers made up a 10-point deficit in the final 2:06 of regulation to force overtime en route to a 124-121 victory which tied the series 1-1. Clyde Drexler, who watched Rolando Blackman go for his second-straight out of 40-plus points in the playoffs (Blackman finished with 41), got revenge by drawing Sam Perkins away from the basket and then hitting a wide-open Mychal Thompson for a layin with one second remaining in regulation which knotted the score at 110 and forced overtime. Portland took control in the extra period as the Blazers gained a split in Reunion Arena. Portland outrebounded Dallas 62-38 for the game.


Kiki Vandeweghe's 10 points down the stretch led a 22-9 Portland run which broke open a tight game and gave the Blazers a 122-109 victory and a 2-1 advantage in the series. The Mavericks held their largest lead, 70-61, with 9:09 to play in the third period, but the Blazers stormed back, going on a 30-17 run to take a 91-87 lead entering the fourth quarter. Once again, Portland's victory was keyed by board work - the Blazers outrebounded the Mavericks, 51-39 with Sam Bowie (11 rebounds) and Clyde Drexler (10 rebounds) leading Portland. Rolando Blackman and Mark Aguirre each scored 30 points in the losing effort. Vandeweghe added 24 points to lead the Blazers.


Seldom-used Blazers reserve Audie Norris finished off the Mavericks with a 10-foot baseline jumper with one second remaining, giving Portland a series-clinching 115-113 win. Norris, who had just six points in the previous three games combined, also hit a key shot with 22 seconds remaining to put the Blazers up 113-111. Norris ended the game with nine points in 17 minutes off the bench. Dale Ellis made his first start in the playoffs replacing Jay Vincent, who was mired in a shooting slump. Mark Aguirre led Dallas with 39 points, 24 of which came in the first half. Rolando Blackman, who had carried the Mavs for most of the series, shot only two-of-13 from the floor, but still managed 17 points.

1984 Playoffs

First Round vs. Seattle

GAME 1 (APRIL 17, 1984) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - DALLAS 88, SEATTLE 86

Rolando Blackman missed a 10-footer but grabbed his own rebound and followed it in from seven feet in traffic with 11 seconds left to propel the Mavericks to an 88-86 win over the Sonics in Dallas' first-ever playoff game. The Mavericks led 87-86 after Blackmans's shot. Seattle had a chance to win, but Blackman and Bill Garnett bothered Jack Sikma enough to force the 6-11 center to miss a driving layup. Blackman adds a free throw with one second remaining to give the Mavs their final margin. After leading 83-78, with 6:48 to go, the Mavs are shut out 8-0, until a Pat Cummings layup brings Dallas to within one, 86-85, with 58 seconds remaining. Gus Williams, who scored an NBA playoff record 23 points in the first period and finished with 31 points, missed with 35 seconds remaining and Dallas worked the ball to Blackman. The Mavs missed the first seven shots of the game and the Sonics jumped out to leads of 15-2, 21-6, and their largest lead of the game, 27-11 with 4:15 to play in the first quarter. Seattle entered the game with 2,280 minutes of playoff experience compared to the Mavericks' 146.

GAME 2 (APRIL 19, 1984) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - SEATTLE 95, DALLAS 92

Gus Williams hit a 25-foot three-pointer at the buzzer before a shocked crowd at Reunion Arena, as the Sonics evened the series, 1-1, with a 95-92 victory. Dallas tied the game at 92 when Pat Cummings hit a jumper with 46 seconds left. The Mavericks trailed by as many as 17 points twice (the last time at 52-35 with 3:24 to play in the second quarter). The Mavericks became the second team in NBA playoff history to make all its free throws by shooting 24-of-24. Mark Aguirre led the Mavs with 27 points and 17 rebounds. Tom Chambers led all scorers with 30 points.

GAME 3 (APRIL 21, 1984) @ SEATTLE COLISEUM (10,229) - SEATTLE 104, DALLAS 94

The Sonics outscored the Mavericks 52-37 in the second half and took a 2-1 lead in the series with a 104-94 win. Dallas shot just 9-of-40 (.225) in the second half. The Mavs led at halftime 57-52 behind .500 shooting and 20 points from Mark Aguirre. Aguirre, however, is held to five points on one-of-nine shooting in the second half.

GAME 4 (APRIL 24, 1984) @ THE KINGDOME (11,893) - DALLAS 107, SEATTLE 96

The Mavericks take the lead early and even up the series with a 107-96 win in Seattle. Dallas led from the 7:10 point of the first period. The Mavs led by 14 points (79-65) at the end of three periods - the first time ever in the series Dallas was not trailing after three quarters. Mark Aguirre had 12 of his 29 points in the third period and Jay Vincent had 11 of his 21 points in the fourth period. Vincent also chipped in 11 rebounds.

GAME 5 (APRIL 26, 1984) @ MOODY COLISEUM (9,007) - DALLAS 105, SEATTLE 104 (OT)

The final game of the first round series vs. Seattle was played at SMU's Moody Coliseum due to a conflict with World Championship Tennis at Reunion Arena and the 9,007 on hand saw the most dramatic win in Mavericks history. Seattle had it's biggest lead at 93-86 with 2:08 left and led 95-89 with 48 second remaining...Seattle's center Jack Sikma fouled out with 1:29 to go...a pair of Pat Cummings free throws made it 95-91 with 47 seconds left...Dallas forced Seattle into a ten-second violation with 36 seconds left...With 22 seconds remaining, Rolando Blackman stole a Steve Hawes pass and took it in for a dunk, drawing Dallas to within two at 95-93...With 21 seconds left, Hawes was unable to make the inbounds pass after a Seattle timeout and Dallas got it back on the five-second call...Blackman made a jumper from the top of the key with 15 seconds left to make it 95-all...Seattle's Danny Vranes missed a tip-in at the buzzer and the game went into overtime...Dallas, which never trailed in the overtime, led 103-97 with 1:37 left...Seattle then outscored the Mavericks 7-2 with Tom Chambers' tip at 0:01 cutting the Mavericks lead to 105-104...After a Dallas timeout, Jay Vincent was set to inbound the ball while Chambers guarded him...Vincent, figuring Chambers couldn't get off a shot in one second, lined the ball off Chambers' chest...Chambers threw up a desperation shot which missed everything...Referee Mike Mathis signaled the game was over and the Mavericks left the court in celebration, despite 0:01 still showing on the clock...For the next 14 minutes, Mathis Jake O'Donnell and alternate official Tommy Nunez discussed the remaining second...O'Donnell's ruling was that Mathis' whistle was inadvertent and the Sonics were given the ball out of bounds with one second...Mark Aguirre and Kurt Nimphius kept Chambers from getting a lob attempt and the game ended.

Conference Semi-Finals vs. L.A. Lakers

GAME 1 (APRIL 28, 1984) @ THE FORUM (13,512) - LOS ANGELES 134, DALLAS 91

Less than 48 hours after the thrilling win over Seattle at Moody Coliseum, the Mavericks come out flat and are buried by the Lakers 134-91. Los Angeles jumped out to a lead of 10-2 and later 30-10. Dallas was never able to get closer than 14 points during the remainder of the game. At the time, the Mavs only worse defeat was a 48-point loss at Houston in February of 1982. Mike McGee's 25 points leads seven Lakers in double-figures. Unfortunately, the game is seen nationally on CBS.

GAME 2 (MAY 1, 1984) @ THE FORUM (15,298) - LOS ANGELES 117, DALLAS 101

After the humiliation of Game One, the Mavericks show more resolve but still fall to the Lakers, this time 117-101. The loss gives the Lakers a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-seven matchup. Dallas fell behind 7-0, but unlike Game One, responded to the Lakers run with an 11-5 spurt of their own. Nonetheless, the Mavericks trailed the entire way, falling behind 55-50 at halftime and 90-72 after three periods. Magic Johnson had 27 points and 11 assists while Kareem Abdul-Jabbar added 22 points and 10 rebounds. Rolando Blackman led Dallas with 27 points.

GAME 3 (MAY 4, 1984) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - DALLAS 125, LOS ANGELES 115

The Mavericks shot .567 and downed the Lakers 125-115. Dallas assumed the lead for keeps at 27-25 with 2:17 left in the first period. The Mavs led by as many as 19 points on three occasions. Rolando Blackman led the hot shooting with 31 points on 12-of-20 from the field. Dale Ellis and Brad Davis, both mired in playoff shooting slumps, each shot eight-of-10. One major key came in the rebounding column where Pat Cummings outrebounded Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 14-7. Ellis' 16 points prove to be the most by a Dallas reserve in the '84 playoffs.

GAME 4 (MAY 6, 1984) @ REUNION ARENA (17,007) - LOS ANGELES 122, DALLAS 115 (OT)

Dallas trailed 2-1 in the best-of-seven conference semi-finals after winning game three 125-115 at Reunion Arena...In this one, Los Angeles led 90-79 after three quarters when the noisy Reunion Rowdies, getting their first taste of CBS national television exposure, helped bring Dallas back with a 15-6 rally to open the fourth quarter...Dallas led 106-105 with 2:15 left...With 54 second remaining Mark Aguirre (34 points) left for good with a badly bruised hip...With 37 seconds left Brad Davis was subbed in for Derek Harper as Dallas trailed 108-106...With 31 seconds left, Pat Cummings was fouled in the act of making an acrobatic finger roll...Cummings, who at the time was 14-for-14 from the line in the postseason, misfired and the score remained knotted at 108-all...With 12 seconds left, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar missed a skyhook and Rolando Blackman came down with the rebound...He passed the ball to Dale Ellis who sent it over to Harper with six seconds to play...Harper had lost track of the score when he briefly went out of the game...Believing the Mavericks were up 109-108, he dribbled out the clock and the game went to OT...Dallas had used its last timeout when Aguirre was hurt, so none was called with Blackman pulled down Kareem's miss at 0:12...Harper showed his toughness by opening the overtime with a jumper to put Dallas up 110-108...Dallas led 112-108 with 3:43 left, but when Vincent fouled out with the score 112-all and 3:04 left, the Lakers regained control, eventually winning 122-115...On May 8 in game five at The Forum, the Mavericks were quietly eliminated 115-99.

GAME 5 (MAY 8, 1984) @ THE FORUM (15,644) - LOS ANGELES 115, DALLAS 99

Mark Aguirre, bothered by the hip injury suffered in Game Four, does not start and the Lakers win easily, 115-99, to close out the series. Dale Ellis starts in place of the injured Aguirre. Aguirre did enter the game with 1:23 left in the first period and the Lakers leading 30-17. He finished with nine points in 14 minutes - the first time he is held under double-figure points all season. Mike McGee led the way for the Lakers with 27 points.