2011 NBA WEST FINALS GAME 4 -- Mavericks 112, Thunder 105: My Top 10 Observer-ations

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10. Battle scars. The Mavericks are fueled by them. As of last night, the Thunder now have one of their own. Who feels worse about their closing confidence this morning: Harold Camping and his May 21 oops or Chokelahoma and its 15-point implosion?

9. Whether it was an epic meltdown or simply the Red River Rally, it's been 15 years since we've witnessed an NBA team win a playoff game after being down 15 points with 5 minutes to play. After the game Dirk Nowitzki said "It was almost over ... we had to be perfect." And you know what? The Mavericks were.

8. Since I can't fathom losing a 3-1 lead with two swings at home to close this thing out, no, I don't think it's too early to look ahead. In the regular season Dallas was 2-0 against the Heat and 0-2 vs. the Bulls. But based on regular-season records, Mavs will not have home-court advantage against either.

7. Don't remember ever seeing an NBA team have a plus-22 rebounding margin in a playoff loss. But then again, Kevin Durant (9) and Russell Westbrook (6) combined for 15 of OKC's fatal 25 turnovers. Down the stretch the immature, inexperienced Thunder ran zero set plays, instead sitting back and relying, hoping their talented brand of 1-on-1 basketball could coax it to the finish line. Nope. And props to Dallas' Shawn Marion for the final play of regulation. Durant was hoisting a panicked 27-footer, but Marion had both the skill and the stones to block it.

6. After Durant's straightaway 3-pointer off yet another Thunder offensive rebound gave OKC a 99-84 lead with 5:06 remaining, I'll admit, I thought Game was 4 done. Still liked the Mavs in the series, but I figured we were driving back to Dallas for a pivotal Game 5 Wednesday in a 2-2 series. So did Durant, who did that silly "belt" hand gesture, as if to mimic a champion boxer re-adorning his title hardware around his mid-section. Dirk Nowitzki has no "belt" move, but he did have 40 points, including half of Dallas' points -- and two calm, game-tying free throws with 6 seconds remaining in regulation -- in a bewildering 28-6 closing run over the game's final 10:06 of the fourth quarter and overtime. Flamingo Fadeaway > Belt.

5. In the final 5:06 of regulation, Dirk outscored the Thunder, 12-2.

4. Tied at 105 in overtime, Dirk drove on Nick Collision and was double-teamed by Westbrook. Making the right basketball play, he passed to open teammate Kidd in the corner. After a savvy pump fake that sent a scrambling Westbrook flailing harmlessly past him and into the seats, Kidd calmly set his feet behind the line and sank a 3-pointer that buried the Thunder. Like Neftali Feliz' curveball that struck out A-Rod looking in the ALCS, it will be the play that sent the Mavs to the NBA Finals. I know Dallas has one more win to grab, but it's gonna be awfully difficult to top that as the series' signature moment.

3. Sad moment in the wake of his toughest loss as a pro: Durant hugged his mom, unbuttoned his trademark backpack and trudged into the OKC night ... all by his lonesome. I almost felt sad for him. Almost, I said.

2. Don't look now but the Mavs are 11-3 in these playoffs and have something very rare in any NBA postseason: A 5-game road winning streak.

1. In the aftermath of blowing a 23-point lead and losing Game 4 in Portland on April  23, it looked iffy for the Mavs getting out of the first round. Now they're one win from the NBA Finals. It's why we so love sports. It's why we're beginning to so respect these Mavericks.


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32 comments
Llausasmd
Llausasmd

thunder over confident in the last 4mins in the 4th quarter. good job brainless. 

Llausasmd
Llausasmd

game 4 west finals at OKC court only over 4mins to play and a 15-point advantage over mavs. what happened? Do you think this is a display of brainless coach and players? 

ts
ts

This is the thanks I get for bringing home a Mavs win.

ts
ts

While the Mavs deserve a lot of the credit for this win, I'd also like to get my fair share of credit.  The moment Dirk hit that 3 in the 4th I got off my couch and mentally willed them to victory.  I didn't sit back down (outside a potty break before OT) until the game was over.  I did the same thing during Game 1 against LA (minus the potty break).  You're welcome Dallas.

Em
Em

Someone needs to hold up a "Most Definitely" sign every time Kidd makes a three.

phe_75034
phe_75034

My "It's not happening tonight" moment was with 6:03 left. It was pure masochism (I thought) which made me stay with it. I am so glad I did.

You can say what you want about the competition the Mavs have faced - Kobe wasn't Kobe during the Lakers series, OKC is young and inexperienced, Russell Westbrook is a basketball dummy, etc - the fact is the Mavs had every reason to throw in the towel last night and come back to Dallas tied at 2. They didn't. Van Gundy was right on when he pointed out Dirk's performance as being the stuff of legends.

My guard is officially down. I do believe. This is so much more fun than it would have been if the Mavs had actually entered the playoffs with some expectations. It's out of left field, and it is awesome!

gofuhcureself
gofuhcureself

I kept waiting for the comeback to happen....but thought after the Durant 3 that extended the lead to 15 with 5 min to play would be too much to overcome.

That's twice this postseason that I lost hope.

First time was game 1 against the Lakers when I turned off the tv and went to bed. When I saw the score the next morning, I think I almost pissed my pants.

Last night, I changed the channel after the Durant 3. When I flipped back over, the Mavs were down 2, so I did get to see Dirk tie it up and then watch them win it in OT.

After years of enduring the crushing defeats and let downs, as a typical long time Mavs fan, I am still conditioned to expect unprecedented, historic disasters / collapses / biased officials with agendas, etc. While hoping for the best, it's hard to stop expecting the worst. Even this post season, that bad taste was experienced again with the 23 point collapse in Portland.

Are the Mavs finally a team of destiny? Now is the time. Have you let your guard down yet? Do you truly believe?

Poetic justice would be a Mavs vs. Heat rematch with the Mavs finally reaching the promised land. I believe the Mavs can get it done (I think and / or hope? LOL).

One question, though. What happens if the hated Heat are again handed the title by biased officials with agendas?

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

It's all about the basketball IQ. Mavs have it (mostly, Deshawn isn't so bright and Terry has his moments), and OKC doesn't. Youth is part of it, but it looks like Westbrook just isn't the brightest bulb. Durant will only get better with experience, I have no doubt about that.

Still hard to believe they actually won that damn game.

This team is getting a big whiff of a title chance. And I think they are galvanizing around Kidd, Dirk, and to a lesser extent Marion, Peja, and Jet, to get them their rings. It seems like they are driven to get two sure-fire Hall of Famers the best skin on the wall possible. I can't even decide if I think Kidd or Dirk deserves it more; luckily I don't have to choose.

And it's been great fun to watch.

MB Tankersley
MB Tankersley

I'll admit, I turned the game off at the 5-minute mark, just before the amazing comeback, thinking, "I've seen this show before..."  Nowitzki, Kidd & the Mavs have seen that same show too, they've lived being the young, cocky team that can't close. And the OKC guys show their maturity level, as evidenced by their clowning, chest-pounding, belt-tightening swagger. They are AMAZING to watch though- several guys on that team I'd LOVE to see switch uniforms when the time comes.

ThongNCheese
ThongNCheese

How many "112-105" signs will we see Wednesday night?

Mishon
Mishon

I prefer the Miracle on I-35, b/c that's what it was...a complete miracle the Mavs won that game. It is great that the Mavs are on the other side of a complete melt down for a change.

I am a Durant fan and I did feel for him last night, but he will get his eventually...just not this year. I do hope the Thunder rid themselves of Westbrook eventually. I can see myself rooting for good things to happen for this franchise when the window on the Mavs has closed. But I can't root for Westbrook. Ever.

I am glad that ESPN has finally discovered Dirk. Magic Johnson was amazed by his performance on the post game last night and actually said that he now thinks he is the MVP on the playoffs. Welcome to the party ESPN.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

And there was a prime example of what I said would doom OKC, and I dont blame Durant, I blame westbrook.  That fool mistakenly thinks he is the best player on his team and he is not.  Is it any coincidence that the only game they have won, was won with his ass on the bench the whole 4th qtr?  And what a showing by the Mavsl, no fear, never wavered, continued to shoot when it wasnt going down, and yet there they stood, with their foot on the neck and OKC begging for mercy.  durant looked like his backpack got stolen.  His demeanor on the bench is terrible when they are losing.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Thank you fine sir, if sitting to pee makes the mavs win, more power to you!!!!

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

so a dude that admits to sitting down to pee, this should be an interesting character!!!!

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I watched every minute of every playoff game this year, and have been pleasantly surprised twice..LaLa game 1 and last night..Can't sleep on Dirk, brutha!

kergo
kergo

We don't LOL on this blog.

Kergie out?

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

I'm starting to get a Ray Bourque with the Colorado Avalanche feeling. Being in Denver then, you could tell their Stanley Cup run was centered around getting a legend his championship. It was a focal point of theirs and a rallying point. Wasn't the Celtics run somewhat similar too? It didn't work for the Lakers with Malone, but we've seen teams accomplish that goal before.

Mishon
Mishon

Also, did anybody else see the failed attempt by ESPN to try and be like TNT by putting their guys's heads on farmer's bodies? Note to ESPN, you can't do what they do. Be original. Stealing schtick that someone has been doing for years is lame.

gofuhcureself
gofuhcureself

You called it before the series started. JBSi believes! Name suggestion: how about Josh's unbroken shoulder? Or a Mavs theme: Caron's broken knee...or Durant's broken heart...here's your new profile pic http://www.dailythunder.com/wp... ha!

ts
ts

The golden shower of success will reign.

ts
ts

I never mentioned pee now did I?  I was expunging the memories of past Maverick's seasons because I actually have that kind of power.

kergo
kergo

We don't do hockey talk on this blog.

Kergie out?

kergo
kergo

Yeah...I thought that was wack too. ESPN sucks.

It is weird though that someone on this blog is talking about someone stealing bits and they aren't talking about Midgey Whitt.

LEGEND!!!

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

ESPN steals everything,including breaking news that others report first, they used to be original and sportscenter was theirs, but everything they do these days is 3 yrs behind the times

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Appreciate the well thought out suggestions for a new title..but you can't rush this bit.  It'll come around the mountain when it does...Bradford, Romo, Webb and the Josh..something will happen soon enough..I'm trying to help Josh's karma now, I have a vested interest.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

well you called it a potty break (who the fuck says potty anymore) and said you didnt sit down the whole time except "potty breaks" so one can infer that you sit down to pee.  If Im going to the bathroom to shit, I aint calling it a potty break, Im either going to take a dump, going to take a shit, going to drop a bomb, dropping the kids at the pool or somesuch. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

a little peeved that borque left the little b's to head west for some gold?

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

We don't do Red Sox talk either but that doesn't stop you.

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