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NBA PLAYOFFS | WESTERN CONFERENCE AT A GLANCE

UTAH vs. DALLAS

April 21, 2001|MARK HEISLER

SCHEDULE

Today at Utah, noon

Tuesday at Utah, 7:30 p.m.

April 28 at Dallas, noon

May 1 at Dallas, TBD*

May 3 at Utah, TBD*

* if necessary; TBD--to be determined

THE BREAKDOWN

* Team records (seeds): (4) Utah 53-29, (5) Dallas 53-29.

* Season series: 2-2; Nov. 4--Utah 112, at Dallas 106; Nov. 20--Dallas 107, at Utah 98; March 26--Dallas 98, at Utah 90; April 7--Utah 116, at Dallas 103.

* Head coaches: Jerry Sloan (13th season), Don Nelson (fourth season).

* Scouting report: The hopes of anyone weary of Mark Cuban's self-congratulations for reinventing basketball ride with the Jazz. The madcap Maverick owner upstaged Nelson and their entertaining, fast-gun little team all season, but now it's the team's turn to show what it has got. But for a 30-22 conference record, to Utah's 31-21, the Mavericks could have had home-court advantage. Long-range bombers Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley will open up the floor, obliging Utah's elders to chase them. But the Jazz has experience, muscle and an inside game, which usually prevails in the playoffs.

* Prediction: The Mouth That Roars will go off on the refs as soon as the Mavericks lose, incurring a Really Big Fine this time, as the Jazz escapes, 3-2.

PROBABLE JAZZ STARTERS

F Karl Malone 23.2 pts, 8.3 reb

F Donyell Marshall 13.6 pts, 7.0 reb

C Olden Polynice 5.3 pts, 4.7 reb

G Bryon Russell 12.0 pts, 4.2 reb

G John Stockton 11.5 pts, 8.4 ast

KEY RESERVES

G John Starks 9.3 pts

G Jacque Vaughn 6.1 pts, 3.9 ast

F Danny Manning 7.4 pts

C Greg Ostertag 4.5 pts, 5.1 ast

PROBABLE MAVERICK STARTERS

F Dirk Nowitzki 21.8 pts, 9.2 reb

F Juwan Howard 18.0 pts, 7.1 reb

C Calvin Booth 5.3 pts

G Michael Finley 21.5 pts, 5.2 reb, 4.4 ast

G Steve Nash 15.6 pts, 7.3 ast

KEY RESERVES

G Howard Eisley 9.0 pts, 3.6 ast

G Vernon Maxwell 4.7 pts

F Greg Buckner 6.2 pts

C Shawn Bradley 7.1 pts, 7.4 reb

* Injury report: DAL--G Greg Buckner (knee).

*--*

THE MATCHUPS UT DAL Avg. points 97.1 (10) 100.5 (4) Avg. points allowed 92.4 (8) 96.2 (16) Avg. rebounds 40.6 (23) 41.5 (21) Opp. avg. rebounds 37.3 (1) 45.0 (27) Field goal % .471 (1) .459 (5) Opp. field goal % .439 (13) .439 (14) Free throw % .752 (16) .794 (2) Three point % .381 (3) .381 (4)

*--*

Research by Roy Jurgens

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