The Stat Line Of The Night — 4/28/11 — Dirk Nowitzki
Since the beginning of their 2006 NBA Finals series against the Miami Heat, the Dallas Mavericks have endured a terrible 2-18 record on the road in the playoffs. Those struggles away from home have resulted in the Mavs being eliminated in the first round in three of the past four post-seasons. They had a chance to exercise their daemons last night in Portland, as a victory would not only be their first on the road in the playoffs this season, but it would also give the the 4-2 series victory and a spot in the second round.
Dirk Nowitzki has been a key member of the Mavericks during the past four seasons, and much of the blame for their lack of success has often been directed at him. As a result, it was important for him to come out strong and put together a solid performance in Game 6, and he did just that, recording a game-high 33 points, to go along with 11 rebounds and four assists. Dirk was at his best down the stretch, hitting jumper after jumper as he helped the Mavs hold off a late charge from the Blazers, en route to the 103-96 victory.
With the win, the Mavs will now travel to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers. That series begins on Monday at the Staples Center. If Dallas hopes to keep their strong playoff run going, they will need big things from Dirk. He provided that last night, and as a result, he earns our “Stat Line of the Night” for Thursday, April 28, 2011.