Since losing to the Miami Heat in the 2006 NBA Finals, the Dallas Mavericks had struggled in the postseason until this year. Three times they lost in the first round - including in 2007 as a one seed. Five years later they have a chance at redemption.
For Marion it is the most he has has scored in a playoff game since 2007. The Mavericks forward was able to do damage in the paint, shooting 7-for-11 from inside five feet after having just 25 attempts from that range in the first four games of the series combined.
Final Five Minutes of Regulation
Games 4 and 5
For the second straight game, the Oklahoma City Thunder struggled in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter, giving up a late lead. The Thunder were up six points following a Kevin Durant layup with 4:26 remaining, but were outscored 14-4 the rest of the way.
Seven of those 14 points for the Mavericks down the stretch came from Nowitzki. He averaged 11.4 PPG during the fourth quarter during the Conference Finals - the second-most in that round in the last 10 seasons (Amar'e Stoudemire averaged 13.6 PPG in 2005).
James Harden had another big game off the bench with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. He is the only player in the last 15 postseasons to accomplish the feat while facing elimination on the road.
The problem for the Thunder was that they stopped going to Harden in the fourth quarter. In the first three quarters, Harden touched the ball on 61.2 percent of the Thunder's plays as they shot 73.9 percent on these plays. In the fourth quarter Harden touched the ball just 37 percent of the time and the team shot 37.5 percent when plays ran through him.
Rick Carlisle improves to 10-3 in his career in potential series-clinching games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Carlisle's .769 win percentage in those games is tied with Tom Heinsohn for the best all-time.