Mavs Set NBA Record, Rip Kings 132-108
May. 09, 2003
DALLAS (AP) _ The Dallas Mavericks came up with a novel way to defeat the Sacramento Kings: Don't miss. Using a streak of 11 straight baskets in the first quarter and making a phenomenal 64 percent of their first-half shots, the Mavericks set or tied several NBA playoff scoring records in a 132-110 victory Thursday night that tied their Western Conference semifinal at one game apiece.
It was the first time since 1995 that a team surpassed 130 points in a playoff game.
Nick Van Exel opened 8-of-9 and finished with a career playoff-high of 36 in 30 minutes, and his hot streak didn't even begin until after the big run of consecutive shots. Dirk Nowitzki highlighted that run with 14 points, including a four-point play, and finished with 24 points in 30 minutes.
Michael Finley also scored 24 and Steve Nash had 19.
Dallas set a first-half playoff scoring record with 83 points and was one shy of the mark for the first quarter with 44. With 113 points through three quarters, the Mavs even had a shot at the playoff record of 157 set by Boston against New York in 1990. But they managed only seven points in the final 8:52.
The loss may have been extra costly for Sacramento.
All-Star forward Chris Webber was carried to the locker room by four teammates late in the third quarter after he injured his left knee while going for a lob pass. He limped back to the bench on his own early in the fourth and didn't return. The exact nature of Webber's injury was uncertain. He'll undergo an MRI exam Thursday.
Also, backup guard Bobby Jackson, winner of the NBA's Sixth Man award, fractured his right cheekbone in a fourth-quarter collision. His status for Game 3 is not yet known.
Webber led Sacramento with 31 points and Peja Stojakovic had 24.
What seemed like it might be a short series after the Kings dominated the opener has taken an exciting twist heading into Games 3 and 4, which will be played Saturday and Sunday nights in Sacramento.
After being drubbed in the opener far worse than the 11-point final score, Dallas players and coaches emphasized two things Wednesday: They had to believe their best would be good enough _ regardless of what Sacramento did _ and they needed to win the first quarter. The winner of all five previous meetings this season was leading after one period.
Despite those aims, it was the Kings who got off to the hot start, leading 20-10 in less than four minutes. A fan behind midcourt even stood and held up a sign that read, ``Wake Up.''
Did they ever.
Starting with Adrian Griffin's tip-in of a miss by Finley with 7:05 left in the first, Dallas went a long stretch before missing a shot and opened a 42-40 lead. Most important was the momentum and confidence they gained, invigorating the crowd of 20,491.
At 44-40 after one period, the teams tied the combined playoff record of 84 points.
The Kings had to be frustrated considering they shot 55 percent and scored their most points in 21 quarters this postseason yet still trailed by four. It was similar to what they did to the Mavs in the opener, leading by nine after one despite Dallas shooting 53 percent.
The Mavs made 77 percent in the first quarter _ a figure hard to reach in practice against no defense _ then opened the second with a 30-7 run.
Van Exel had three straight 3-pointers during the spurt, waving his hands to the crowd after each. That produced some of the loudest cheers in the two-year history of the American Airlines Center, providing the home-court advantage Dallas gave away by losing the opener.
The Mavs ended a five-game home losing streak to the Kings. It was only the third time Dallas has beaten Sacramento in their last 11 meetings.
The lead peaked at 35 early in the fourth. By then, both teams had gone to their benches. With 40 seconds left, there was some pushing among the reserves that led to the ejections of Walt Williams and Hedo Turkoglu.
Williams was supposed to go to the line. So coach Don Nelson got to pick anyone and chose Van Exel, who'd been out for a while. Van Exel laughed as he walked to the line. He made the first, then missed the second.
Dallas hit 100 with 4:52 left in the third on a 3-pointer by Finley, prompting chants of ``cha-lu-pa'' from fans who get coupons for free fast-food treats when the Mavs score triple-digits and win.
Dallas finished at 51.5 percent from the field and made 17 of 32 (53.1 percent) from behind the 3-point arc. If Nelson wants to criticize anyone, it's his reserves, as Van Exel and Raef LaFrentz (eight points) were the only scorers. Raja Bell went 0-for-1 in 28 minutes and the rest failed to score in 28 total minutes.
Jim Jackson was Sacramento's third-leading scorer with 12. Vlade Divac was 0-for-1 in 15 minutes and Mike Bibby had nine points after scoring only seven in the opener.
Notes: Dallas' 83 points at halftime were four points shy of the NBA playoff record for points in any half. The record was set by another Nelson-coached team, the 1978 Milwaukee Bucks. ... A young fan under the basket was asked by security to stop clapping cymbals after getting off more than a dozen loud claps. He was allowed to stay, unlike the poster-toting fan who tried to distract Shaquille O'Neal in San Antonio on Wednesday night. ... Paul Silas, fired as Hornets coach on Sunday, watched from the stands as a guest of Nelson. The two were roommates on the Boston Celtics in the 1970s.