Posted by Sabrina B. @gametimegirl

Dirk Nowitzki knows how to take over a game when the Dallas Mavericks need him the most, and Jason Kidd can still make some big shots.

Nowitzki scored 18 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter and the 38-year-old Kidd had a playoff career-best six 3-pointers among his 24 points as Dallas defeated thePortland Trail Blazers 89-81 Saturday night in Game 1 of their first-round Western Conference series.

“Just really kept on plugging,” Nowitzki said. “I’ve got to keep going. The team told me to keep attacking and things will start happening.”

Even though Nowitzki struggled from the field most of the night, making only 7 of 20 shots, he came through when the Mavericks needed him most.

Nowitzki scored 12 consecutive points in the game-turning spurt in the closing minutes when Dallas tied the game and eventually went ahead to stay. In the opener of his 11th consecutive postseason appearance with the Mavs, the perennial All-Star made all 13 of his free throws — all in the fourth quarter.

Soon after Portland had its largest lead of six points, the Mavericks got back within 72-70 when Nowitzki made two free throws with 4:49 left.

After Kidd rebounded an Andre Miller miss, Nowitzki got fouled and hit two more free throws to tie the game.

Miller then scored with a finger-roll, but Nowitzki hit a 3-pointer from the right corner to put the Mavs ahead to stay with 3:40 left.