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Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd Will Dallas Mavericks to Win in Game 4 of Western Conference Finals

Scoring by Periods
_____ 1– 2— 3– 4— OT— F
DAL– 22- 32- 23- 24- 11 –112
OKC– 31-28- 22- 20– 4- 105

Monday night, the Dallas Mavericks needed overtime to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-105 in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals.  With the win, the Mavericks now have a 3 games to 1 lead over the Thunder.

Dirk Nowitzki goes for a rebound (Ronald Martinez, Getty Images)

With 5 minutes left to play in the fourth period, the Thunder had a 15 point lead they subsequently relinquished.  The Mavericks limited the Thunder to just one basket the rest of the way and tied it at 101 on Nowitzki’s two free throws with 6.4 seconds left. Nowitzki scored 12 points during the Mavs’ 17-2 run and got fouled by Nick Collison, who grabbed the big German’s hip as he lunged to tip the ball away, before hitting both foul shots to tie it and send the game to overtime.

The dagger from the Mavericks was provided by Jason Kidd.  He hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 40 seconds left in overtime and the Mavericks staged an improbable rally to stun the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“You’re lying if you’re not surprised. Down 15 with 5 minutes to play you’re thinking hopefully something can happen,” Dallas center Brendan Haywood said. “You’re just kind of wishing.”

Dallas didn’t lead until Nowitzki hit two free throws 16 seconds into overtime, needing to rally from a 99-84 deficit in the final 5 minutes of regulation. In 45 minutes of playing time, Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 40 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. The Mavericks never let the Thunder — who were one win shy of tying an NBA record with eight OT wins in the regular season — go ahead in the extra period.

Kevin Durant missed a 3-pointer on Oklahoma City’s opening possession of overtime and then didn’t get another shot until he missed a 3 off the front rim in the final 10 seconds with the Thunder down by five.

The Thunder suffered their first consecutive losses of the postseason and first back-to-back home losses in six months.

“We kept believing,” Nowitzki said. “I think finally we got some rebounds. I think that was killing us all night long. We got second-chance points, tipouts. In the last couple minutes we got great stops, finally got some rebounds, and it really helped us (with) our flow. They couldn’t really guard us off the transition and we needed to get some stops and that was big down the stretch.”

Kevin Durant (Christian Petersen, Getty Images)

During the postgame press conference, Durant’s dejection showed, “I let the city down,” he said of the loss.  All the Thunder can do now is try to be positive while facing elimination. “It’s not over yet,” he said.

Game 5 is Wednesday night in Dallas, with tip-off set for 8pm.

————–

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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