DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks had the best of it early and at the end Saturday night, as they turned back the Trail Blazers 89-81 to open their first-round playoff series.
Portland led by six points, 72-66, with about 5 1/2 minutes to go at American Airlines Center, but Dallas veterans Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd fueled the Mavericks' comeback.
Kidd finished with a team-high 24 points, making a playoff career-best six 3-pointers, while LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 27 points.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, also at Dallas.
Dallas, the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, led 47-37 at the half.
Nowitzki, who struggled from the field and didn't get to the free-throw line until early in the fourth quarter, made 13 of 13 free throws in the fourth quarter, when he scored 18 of his game-high 28 points.
Andre Miller had 18 points for the sixth-seeded Blazers, with six assists. Blazer forward Nicolas Batum led all reserves with 14 points, and starting center Marcus Camby had a game-high 18 rebounds in 29 minutes.
But Gerald Wallace (eight points), Wesley Matthews (two points, 1 for 3 from the field) and Brandon Roy (two points, 1-for-7 shooting) had disappointing efforts.