The Mavericks gave 38-year-old point guard Jason Kidd a pair of games off late in the season to rest his legs. At least for one night it seems to have paid off. Kidd led Dallas to an 85-81 win in Game One of their series with the Portland Trailblazers with 24 points, five rebounds and four assists. He hit a career high six three-pointers.
Dallas jumped out to a ten-point halftime lead but with Kidd on the bench saw the Blazers battle back, hold the Mavericks scoreless for 11 minutes, and take a five-point lead early in the fourth. The Mavs’ run started immediately upon his return, as he fed Dirk Nowitzki for 12 straight Dallas points. Nowitzki entered the final quarter with just ten points, but he lived on the line late, going 13-13 overall, and finished with 28. He did have six turnovers, accounting for almost half of the Mavericks’ total.
After appearing to lose their legs in the third quarter, Dallas was the more aggressive team late, as they hit 17 of 18 free throw attempts in the fourth, while Portland attempted just two. Settling for perimeter shots, the Blazers were also cold from outside the arc, finishing just 2-16.
The Blazers were led by 27 from LaMarcus Aldridge, 18 from Andre Miller and 14 from Nicolas Batum. No other Portland player hit double figures. They still outshot Dallas overall, 46% to 41%.
Game Two is Tuesday night at 8:30 CT in Dallas.