GAME 7 (MAY 4, 2003) @ AMERICAN AIRLINES CENTER (20,281) - DALLAS 107, PORTLAND 95
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.
The greatness of the classic nothing to lose "nellie ball" days with Dirk being the highlight. This was probably one of the greatest playoff games where our superstar single handedly took care of Portland. Something to see for playoffs.
LETS GO MAVS!