Things were going pretty well for the Suns until Dirk Nowitzki managed to send Shawn Marion to the bench with foul trouble. Paul Coro reports:
The Suns were on their way to a home close-out game when Tim Thomas' locked-in stroke put Phoenix ahead 77-70 with the last of his six three-pointers. It gave Thomas a playoff career-high 26 points, but he would not score again.
That 16-6 Suns run prompted a Dallas timeout. On the next play, Marion picked up his fourth foul while fronting Nowitzki and left the game. With Marion out, Nowitzki found his rhythm. He was 6 for 16 at that moment. He made eight of his next 10 shots, hitting his first six of 22 points in the fourth quarter. He played with the fire of a man whose coach, he said, had "let me have it" in Wednesday's review of Game 4 video.
"When we were down seven, I just saw the whole season swimming away," Nowitzki said. "So at that point, I just said, 'You know, Let's go. Whatever we need to do.' "
Turned out what they needed to do was get a blowout win thanks to a possessed 50 (22 and 8 rebounds in the fourth quarter alone) from the large German fella.
Marc Stein has a good write-up, to go alongside video highlights.