Portland coach Nate McMillan said he wasn't surprised by the zone defense Dallas applied, yet it did seem to slow his team's uptempo offense.
"We knew that they had the defense in their package," McMillan said. "I thought for us most of the night, we're just not calm in getting to our spots offensively against the man and their zone. Basically, we've seen that, teams trying to mix in a zone."
After Brandon Roy had a wonderful Game 4, he struggled to find his shot on Monday night. Roy scored just five points while taking seven shots. Wesley Matthews scored eight points and missed four of seven shots. Nicolas Batum missed seven of 12 attempts to finish with 12 points.
LaMarcus Aldridge, who can hit some 15-foot jumpers, was off. He scored 12 points and didn't seem to assert himself.
The zone defense also allowed the Mavericks to get on the boards. Of their 49 rebounds, 20 were on the offensive end.
"It was something we talked about," Jason Kidd said of the zone defense. "And we wanted to see how it looked tonight and I thought it slowed them down and got them against the shot clock. In the past two games, that's what happened to us, we were fighting the shot clock. So they had to take some tough shots and they're going to look at the zone and see what they can do to exploit it and it's a chess match now."