Practice Report: Thunder Knows Challenge Ahead

The Thunder knows full well the challenge it faces Wednesday night as the Western Conference Finals shift to Dallas.

Down 3-1 to the Dallas Mavericks, the Thunder enters Game 5 (8 p.m., ESPN and the Thunder Radio Network) in the American Airlines Center with one goal in mind: to win one game and bring the series back to Oklahoma City.

The Thunder knows the odds are not in its favor. That's fine, Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks said, for as long as there are odds, then there also is a chance.

"The odds are there. We still have a chance to make it a series," Brooks said. "We're not talking about the odds or history. All we're focusing on is winning one basketball game.

"What better way than to win a game nobody thinks you can win?"

The Thunder gathered Tuesday at the INTEGRIS Health Training Center, the morning after a crushing 112-105 overtime defeat in Game 4. The Thunder led 99-84 with 5:04 remaining in the game, confident it was headed back to Dallas with the series tied. But then shots the Thunder was making did not fall, fouls and turnovers mounted and more damaging, Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki got hot.

The Mavericks closed the quarter on a 17-2 run to force overtime and continued their momentum in the five-minute period.

"That was a tough pill to swallow, that last game," Thunder forward Kevin Durant said. "I didn't talk to my mom, my grandma, nobody. But I have faith in my teammates. We're just going to go out there tomorrow and leave everything we've got on the court. ... We want to try to bring this thing back to OKC, that's the plan. We'll see what happens."

Added Brooks: "That was a tough loss to accept, but we have to. We need to learn from it and move on. We have to take advantage of the chance we have tomorrow night. Our guys are resilient. They always bounce back. ... Give credit to the Mavericks; they did a lot of things well. But we lost the game. There's no way around that."

The home court has not been especially kind to either team in their 2010-11 match-ups. The Mavericks are 4-0 in the Oklahoma City Arena; the Thunder is 2-1 in the American Airlines Center. That fact is something the Thunder takes with it into Game 5.

"We've beat them in Dallas before. We will go in there tomorrow and play our hearts out," guard James Harden said. "We'll regroup. We know we still have a chance."

"We have a big challenge tomorrow," Brooks said. "But it's a great opportunity to extend this series. It's not going to be easy, we know that, but it's still an opportunity."