After watching the Dallas Mavericks hang around before putting them away in the first two games, the Portland Trail Blazers were the aggressor during Thursday's Game Three. Through the first three quarters, the Blazers and Mavs matched each other stride-for-stride, with Portland holding a slight, two-point advantage heading into the final 12 minutes. But thanks to a run to begin the fourth quarter, the Blazers were able to begin to chip away at Dallas' 2-1 series lead with a 97-92 win at the Rose Garden.
Portland began the quarter on an 11-2 run, turning its two-point lead into an 11-point lead just three minutes into the fourth. But the Mavs weren't content to give up without a fight and continued battling back, thanks to a strong quarter from Dirk Nowitzki. Both teams endured scoring droughts over the final four minutes, though Dallas was able to slowly reel the Blazers in, cutting the deficit to three on a Jason Kidd two-pointer with under 20 seconds to go.
With a three-point lead and 10 seconds to go, Andre Miller was fouled as the Mavs tried to extend the game and was able to knock-down two free throws to push the Portland lead back to five. A Jason Kidd air-ball on the other end was Dallas' last chance and Portland escaped with the 97-92 win.
Wesley Matthews set the tone for the Blazers, scoring 16 points, including 4-5 shooting from beyond the arc, in the first quarter. Matthews finished with a team-high 25 points on 8-12 shooting.LaMarcus Aldridge was his usual, consistent self, finishing with 20 points. Brandon Roy came off the bench to provide a lift after a tumultuous week, scoring 16 points in a reserve role. Andre Miller was also in double-figures with 16 points.
Jason Terry may have started the game off the bench, but thanks to strong production, he played starters' minutes. Terry finished with a game-high 29 points in 40 minutes. Dirk Nowitzki teamed up with Terry to form a one-two punch, adding 25 points and nine rebounds for Dallas.
Game 5 takes place on Saturday in Portland at the Rose Garden. Dallas still leads the series, 2-1, but Portland is right back in the mix with Thursday's win.