Mavs scorch Blazers for 2-0 advantage


DALLAS, Texas, April 20- Dirk Nowitzki scored 33 points to power the Dallas Mavericks to a 101-89 win over the Portland Trail Blazers in game two of their NBA first round playoff series on Tuesday.

Nowitzki had the last 11 points for the Mavericks who took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

"We know that they (Portland) are a very good home team so we wanted to hold home court here and go up there with a 2-0 lead," Nowitzki said.

"But this series is far from over. They play well at home, they make shots, and they play tough D so we’ve got to be prepared for a tough game on Thursday."

Dallas’ Peja Stojakovic tied his career playoff best with five three-pointers and had 21 points. Jason Kidd continued his scoring spree with 18 points.

Nowitzki scored 14 of his points in the final quarter for Dallas, which hadn’t won the first two games of a playoff series since the 2006 NBA finals.

Portland led most of the first half but Dallas went ahead on a three-pointer by Kidd seconds into the second half and never lost the lead for the remainder of the game.

"We couldn’t execute down the stretch, and we’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the ball," Portland forward Gerald Wallace said.

"We’re getting unforced turnovers at crucial points of the game which is giving them momentum.

The Mavericks equalled a franchise playoff best with just six turnovers. They also went without a turnover for the final 28 minutes.

The Blazers scored 28 points in the second quarter but just 37 in the entire second half.

LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Wallace and Andre Miller each scored 18 for Portland.

"Every time we had a chance, we’d turn the ball over or make a big mistake and they ended up closing out the game," Aldridge said.

Game three is Thursday in Portland.