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Trail Blazers Face Elimination In Game 6

  1. Written by: Grant Lucas  / avg. rating: 4.5

    For the second time this series, the Portland Trail Blazers (2-3) return to the Rose Garden with their backs against the wall. After resurrecting themselves from a 2-0 hole and knotting up the first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks (3-2), Portland dropped a crucial Game 5 in Dallas. Now, the Trail Blazers face elimination in Game 6 at the Rose Garden on Thursday night. Tipoff is schedule for 7:30 PM.

    Projected to start for Portland are Gerald Wallace, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby, Wesley Matthews and Andre Miller.

    After notching an historical comeback in Game 4 - one in which Brandon Roy led a Portland surge to erase an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit - the Trail Blazers headed to American Airlines Center, where they had yet to pick up a victory all season.

    In that matchup, Portland remained within striking distance midway through the third period. The Mavericks clinged to a one-point edge before putting up a 19-8 run to close out the frame. With help from Tyson Chandler's 14 points and 20 boards, including a franchise-record 13 offensive rebounds, Dallas held on for a 93-82 victory.

    Miller posted a team-high 18 points and seven assists, Wallace added 16 points, nine boards and two blocks, but Portland gave the ball up 15 times, resulting in 19 Dallas points. Despite 12 points and nine rebounds from Aldridge, as well as 12 points from Nicolas Batum off the bench, the Trail Blazers were outrebounded 49-37 and 20-9 on the offensive glass.

    Dirk Nowitzki poured in a game-high 25 points to go along with eight rebounds, while Jason Terry came off the bench with 20 points.

    Home court has proved to be helpful in this series, with the host team outscoring the opposition by an average of 7.2 points in the fourth quarter. At the Rose Garden, the Trail Blazers hold a 57-35 advantage in the closing period.

    Portland also gets a lift from Aldridge, who is tied atop the postseason leader board for most field goals made (42) while also leading his club to a 198-150 advantage in the paint and 63-35 in fast break points.

    Dallas, however, is led by Nowitzki, who leads all players this series with 26.2 points per game as well as 16.4 points from Terry. Chandler has put up six points and 10 boards for Dallas, but the big man has been in foul trouble nearly the entire series, allowing the Trail Blazers to get production inside.

    Aldridge's 20.2 points and seven rebounds have led a Portland squad that has outshot Dallas from the field (45.6-44.5) with Miller adding 16.8 points and 5.8 assists. The Trail Blazers, however, have been outscored 93-80 at the charity stripe, with the Mavericks getting there 20 more times this series.

    Paced by Jason Kidd and Peja Stojakovic, Dallas has also received contributions from three-point range, knocking down 40 shots from beyond the arc on 38.8 percent shooting, compared to Portland's 25 three-balls on less than 32 percent shooting.

    Greg Oden and Elliot Williams will be sidelined for the Trail Blazers due to knee injuries.

    Mike Barrett and Mike Rice will have the call on KGW NewsChannel 8, while Brian Wheeler and Antonio Harvey man the helm on 95.5 FM The Game. Game 6 will also air nationally, with TNT streaming the matchup.

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