Saturday , Apr , 24 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Home sweet home: Mavs blow out Kings to get within 2-1

=== Home sweet home: Mavs blow out Kings to get within 2-1 ===

Dallas, TX (Sports Network) – Marquis Daniels scored 22 points and Dirk
Nowitzki added 21 points and eight rebounds to lead Dallas to a convincing
104-79 win over Sacramento in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal
series at American Airlines Center.

Antawn Jamison contributed 20 points and Michael Finley netted 18 for the
fifth-seeded Mavericks, who won their first game of the best-of-seven series
to get within 2-1. Prior to the game, Jamison was presented a trophy for
winning the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award.

“The Mavericks showed up tonight,” Dallas head coach Don Nelson said.

Dallas, which has never rallied from an 0-2 deficit to win a best-of-seven
set, will host Game 4 on Monday night.

“We’ve got to keep it up on Monday,” Nowitzki said. “We can’t afford to go to
Sacramento down 3-1.”

Mike Bibby and Chris Webber each scored a game-high 22 points for the fourth-
seeded Kings, who have never lost a playoff series after winning the first two
games. Sharpshooting forward Peja Stojakovic had only seven points on 2-of-9
shooting for Sacramento.

The Mavericks, who won a league-best 36 home games during the regular season,
shot 40 percent from the floor (40-of-100), while the Kings hit on just 28-
of-75 shots (37 percent).

“We followed our game plan and made the adjustments that we thought would be
good for us,” said Nelson. “We were good, but they weren’t as good as they
normally are.”

Dallas came out on fire as it scored the first nine points of the game, keyed
by four from Antoine Walker. Finley’s basket moments later extended the
Mavericks cushion to 13-3 and the gap grew to 11 points later in the period.

However, the Kings crept within four at 27-23 later in the stanza on Bibby’s
three-point play. Dallas, though, closed out the quarter by scoring six of
the final eight points to pull ahead 33-25 after one.

In the second quarter, Sacramento reeled off the first eight points, capped by
Stojakovic’s jumper, to tie the game at 33 apiece. The teams stayed close over
the next several minutes and Dallas held onto a 43-41 late in the period. The
Mavericks then ended the first half by using a quick 6-1 surge and they took a
49-42 lead into the intermission.

Nowitzki poured in 17 first-half points for the Mavericks, who shot 41 percent
(21-of-51). Webber paced his club with 16 points as Sacramento made 17-of-44
shots in the opening 24 minutes (39 percent).

Dallas led 64-53 midway through the period, but then put the game out of reach
as the Mavericks used an 11-0 burst to claim a commanding 22-point advantage.
During the critical run, Steve Nash and Nowitzki drained three-pointers,
Daniels converted a three-point play and Eduardo Najera made a pair of free
throws. The Mavericks widened their gap to 83-59 after 36 minutes.

Sacramento, which never led in the game, did not mount a comeback in the
fourth quarter and fell behind by as many as 28 in the final 12 minutes.

“They outplayed us and beat us in every category,” Sacramento guard Doug
Christie said.