SAN ANTONIO -- The Dallas Mavericks are anticipating another wild and woolly crowd at the AT&T Center tonight as the San Antonio Spurs and their fans to try to kick the Mavs out out of the playoffs for the first time in three postseason meetings.
The Mavs didn't handle the pressure and a deafening crowd well here in Games 3 and 4. They know they have no choice tonight in do-or-die Game 6. Tip is 7 p.m.
"You got to weather the storm tonight, it's that kind of night where whatever it takes you have to keep your composure," Dirk Nowitzki said following the team's morning shootaround. "It's going to be tough. The emotion is probably going to be flaring and stuff, but you go to still stay cool."
Dallas couldn't do it in Game 4 when the Spurs broke them down in a 29-11 third quarter that gave San Antonio a lead they wouldn't relinquish for a 3-1 lead in the series.
"Obviously," Nowitzki said, "we can't let that happen tonight."
Nowitzki still harkens back to Game 7 in the 2006 semifinals when the Mavs withstood everything the Spurs and their charged-up crowd could bring and won in overtime.
"The building was as loud as then here in Game 3 and Game 4," Nowitzki said. "When they made their run in Game 4 in the third quarter they were all over us, the crowd was amazing. I was trying to talk to the coaches or the referees, I couldn't even hear my own words. So, it was amazing energy and we've got to use that to our advantage, too, and really get excited and play our best game."