The Trail Blazers ran out of Rose Garden miracles on Thursday. Five days after coming all the way back from a 23-point deficit to win Game 4, Portland was unable to match the shot-making of Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry in Game 6. If there was a hero-in-waiting for Portland this time it was Gerald Wallace. The ninth-year forward acquired by the Blazers from the Charlotte Bobcats on Feb. 24 gave his best performance of the series with his team's back pressed against the wall. Wallace scored 32 points and had 12 rebounds. This time, Portland fell back by 17 points in the third quarter before closing the gap to 86-85 on Wallace's steal and breakaway dunk. But with the 159th consecutive home sellout crowd behind them, the Blazers couldn't ride their momentum all the way back. "Every time we made a mistake, (the Mavericks) made us pay," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. Wesley Matthews missed two open three-pointers inside the final four minutes. LaMarcus Aldridge missed a pair of free throws with 2:34 remaining. And Brandon Roy wasn't wearing his cape this time. And for the first time in 10 meetings between the Mavericks and Blazers, the home team couldn't close the deal. Fighting for their playoff survival, the Blazers got off to a promising start. Wallace put his stamp on the game early, scoring Portland's first nine points and helping the team build a 12-point first-quarter lead (19-7). But when he left the game at the end of the quarter - with 13 points and six rebounds - and went to the locker room complaining of a sore lower back, the Blazers' energy went with him. Wallace felt his back tighten late in the first quarter and spent the second quarter stretching. "We lost some momentum in that second quarter and it took us a little while to get going again," McMillan said.
Wallace's heroics not enough to get Blazers to Game 7
Dallas Morning News | Apr 29