With their comeback from 15 down with 5 minutes to play the Dallas Mavericks effectively closed the door on the OKC Thunder’s season. Dallas ended their 17-2 run with two clutch free throws by Dirk Nowitzki to force OT.
Of course, no massive comeback happens on its own and the Mavericks had much help from a Thunder meltdown. Brian Westbrook continued to show that, while he possesses a wonderful skill set, his mental game needs massive amounts of work as he committed fouls, failed to pass, took shots early in the shot clock and turned over the ball down the stretch. If there was anything he could do to hurt his team, Westbrook found a way to do it.
But let us not overlook the great team effort from the Mavericks and their standout player, Dirk Nowitzki. Despite another great defensive performance by Nick Collison in which there was nothing he could do for 43 minutes to earn a foul call, Nowitzki persevered and overcame the adversity when it mattered most, finding a way to get a shot and earning his way to the foul line.
Shaun Marion’s defense smothered Kevin Durant down the stretch and his block of Durant’s last-second shot secured the tie.
The series moves back to Dallas for Game 5 on Wednesday @ 8:00 pm CDT.