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Trail Blazers Rally to Beat Mavericks

May 01, 2003|From Associated Press

DALLAS — The Portland Trail Blazers are trying to carve a new image: The never-say-die underdogs.

The Trail Blazers, faced with the daunting prospect of trying to win four consecutive elimination games, rode the return of Scottie Pippen to a 103-99 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night to pull to within 3-2 in their first-round series.

Despite not leading for the first 46 minutes 55 seconds, the Trail Blazers didn't give up. That attitude was typified by Rasheed Wallace, who didn't flinch after leaving a three-point shot short.

The rebound came to him and Wallace made a second try from nearly the same spot to put Portland ahead, 99-98, with 1:05 left. The Trail Blazers led the rest of the way, sending the series to Portland for Game 6 on Friday night and continuing their quest to become the first NBA team to overcome a 3-0 deficit.

"We're just hooping it up, nothing else," said Wallace, who scored 18 points. "Y'all wrote us off. We're the only cats that believe. We're going to keep doing what we're doing."

The Mavericks have to figure out how a series that was going so right has gone so wrong, so fast -- and how to stop it.

"It's no time to panic," said Dirk Nowitzki, who led Dallas with 35 points, 13 in the fourth quarter. "We've already won one up there, and now we've got to go and steal another one."

Pippen, who hadn't played for Portland since Game 1, returned in the second quarter but lasted only three minutes.

He came back for the final 15 seconds of the third period and never came out. He finished with nine points, five assists and two rebounds.

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