Tony Gutierrez, Associated Press
DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki scored 18 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter and the Dallas Mavericks defeated Portland 89-81 Saturday night in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Even though Nowitzki struggled from the field most of the night, he came through when the Mavericks needed him most.
Nowitzki scored 12 consecutive points in the game-turning spurt in the closing minutes when Dallas tied the game and eventually went ahead to stay.
Jason Kidd added 24 points, including a playoff career-best six 3-pointers.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points for Portland.
Soon after Portland had its largest lead (six points), the Mavericks got back within 72-70 when Nowitzki made two free throws with 4:49 left. His a 3-pointer from the right side with 3:40 left to put the Mavs ahead to stay.
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