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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ Michael Finley scored 33 points and youth was served as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Utah Jazz 84-83 Thursday night in the decisive fifth game of their first-round playoff series.
Calvin Booth got free for a layup over Donyell Marshall with 9.8 seconds remaining, giving the Mavericks an 84-83 lead, the first time Dallas went ahead since 3-2 two minutes into the game.
The Mavericks ran an isolation play for Finley, who seemed ready to work his 6-foot-7 advantage over the smaller and slower John Stockton. But Finley saw Booth open underneath and flipped it inside.
The Jazz called a timeout and set up a final play. Bryon Russell inbounded to Stockton, who drove and kicked it over to Russell on the right wing. He missed a 3-pointer with 4.3 seconds to go, but Karl Malone corralled the rebound.
Unfortunately for Utah, the Mailman didn’t deliver this time. He missed an open jumper from the top of the key. When the horn went off, the Mavericks flooded the floor in celebration.
It was the first time Dallas, in the playoffs for the first time since 1990, won a postseason series since the 1988 Western Conference semifinals. And it was Utah’s first loss in the opening round since 1995 against Houston.
The Mavericks will open the best-of-seven second round on Saturday at San Antonio.