Dallas has basically won seven of the last eight quarters against Portland.
The series is 3-2 and headed back to Portland because of Brandon Roy’s epic fourth quarter Saturday (which John Hollinger of ESPN said so well was not Roy’s best quarter it was anyone’s best quarter).
Monday night there was no Roy making plays in the fourth quarter, there was no Blazers comeback. There was Dallas taking the lead in the third quarter clamping down on defense and getting a win 93-82.
Dallas dominted this game — they grabbed 20 offensive rebounds, or 41.7 percent of their missed shot resulted in a second chance. Those offensive rebounds really cut off any dreams of a Portland comeback in the fourth quarter — they’d get a stop but Dallas would get the board and reset the offense. Dallas was also just more aggressive and that resulted in them shooting nearly twice as many free throws (35 to 18).
But the real key for Dallas was a dominating second half defensive performance where the Trail Blazers scored just 39 points. Dallas held Portland to 43 percent shooting for the game and Portland had just a 97.6 points per 100 possessions average. LaMarcus Aldridge to 12 points on 15 shots and Dallas focused on shutting him down, although they really shut everyone down. Or look at it this way: Jason Kidd had more assists (14) than the Blazers team (13).
Tyson Chandler was a beast, with 20 rebounds — 13 offensive — and 14 points, plus helping hold Aldridge in check. He came out with energy from the opening tip and when he does that Dallas is so difficult to stop. When Chandler plays like this you think Dallas could be a contender.
In particularl Dallas really smoked Portland’s small-ball lineup, which Nate McMillan tried in the second half and stuck with even as Dallas took control of the game. The lack of rebounding realy did in Portland.
This series is not over — we have seen the magic of the Rose Garden. We know what Portland can do. We know a Game 7 is not out of the question and anything can happen in one game.
But if Dallas brings the defense like this again, they will be playing in the second round soon.