OKC COLLAPSE EDGES MAVS CLOSE TO FINALS

Set for victory, the Oklahoma City Thunder suffered a meltdown. The Dallas Mavericks took full advantage to take an overtime win which puts them 3-1 ahead in the NBA’s Western Conference Finals.

Down 99-84 with 4:48 left in the fourth quarter, the Mavs produced a 17-2 run that left the Thunder dazed. Dirk Nowitzki, who hit a game-high 40 points, led the charge as Dallas surged to a 112-105 victory that potentially puts them just 48 minutes from a place in the Finals.

“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 had 29 points and 15 rebounds for the hosts but was blocked by Shawn Marion on a three-point attempt with 2 seconds left in regulation which ended at 101.

Dallas won the OT period 11-4, including a three-pointer from Jason Kidd who had 17 in an accomplished veteran performance.

Game 5 is Wednesday night in Dallas (ESPN) with the Thunder hindered by history. Only two teams have ever come back from 3-1 behind without holding homecourt advantage in Game 7.

“There’s no doubt it was a tough loss,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “If this loss did not hurt, there’s no such thing as a loss that can hurt you.”

pics: NBAE/Getty

 

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