Two days earlier, the Suns had waxed the the Mavericks 106-86 to even their Western Conference Finals series at 2-2. Enter Dirk Nowitzki to rescue the Dallas Mavericks.
Nowitzki poured in a franchise playoff-record 50 points in Game 5, outscoring the Suns by himself in the fourth quarter, 22-20.
The New York Times described Dirk's performance thusly:
"Another ingrained image was shattered Thursday night, if it still existed at all. Dirk Nowitzki, his superstar tag muddied by a soft reputation, crushed the Phoenix Suns, and whatever was left of that unflattering label."
Dirk's dominating performance was the springboard for the Mavs winning the series, 4-2, earning Dallas the right to play in The Finals for the first time.