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Nowitzki got to the free throw line just three times. He made them all as part of his game-high 27 points. Carlisle believed Nowitzki -- who described the Mahinmi foul call as "brutal" -- got hacked without a call being made after the critical foul called on Mahinmi. "I'm in disbelief that there was a foul call on Mahinmi," Carlisle said. "I just watched the play five times; I mean it's a block. It's an enormous play. And then Nowitzki gets hit on the arm at the other end and there's no call. So, I'm at a loss. I apologize for that."
The Thunder's 6-foot-10 Ibaka went up for a short hook in the lane and was challenged by the 6-foot-11 Mahinmi and his outstretched right arm.
Mahinmi said he thought he got all ball, a play that could have given Dallas possession while maintaining its 91-90 lead. But the whistle blew and Ibaka made both free throws for a 92-91 Thunder lead.
Mahinmi, who had 13 points and five rebounds coming in relief of injured starting center Brendan Haywood, said he was in disbelief at the call, but did not argue it.
"It was heat of the moment, they called a foul," Mahinmi said. "I didn't want to go up to the referee and him thinking I'm trying to use bad words and stuff, so it's unfortunate for us."
Oklahoma City held a 15-2 edge in free throw attempts in the decisive fourth quarter, and held a 33-10 edge in attempts overall for a 19-point advantage.
"Thirty-three to 10? Thirty-three free throws to 10, can I explain that?" Carlisle said. "They get to the free throw line a lot, but I don't want to be accusatory to the officials. But, I thought our guys were aggressive enough to deserve a few more chances."
After Mahinmi was whistled for the call, Kidd pled Mahinmi's case to referee Pat Fraher, to no avail.
"He didn't foul him. It was a bad call. Clean block," Kidd said. "I just said [to Fraher] it wasn't a foul. He blocked the ball and after the play he said he bumped him with his body. I don't think so. It was a bad night for the officials. It happens."Jeff Caplan covers the Dallas Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.