Game Recap - Conference Finals Game 5 at Dallas Mavericks

Playoffs Game Recap
96 100

1 Turnovers committed by the Thunder in the third quarter.

3 Times the game was tied.

5 Games in the series the Thunder outrebounded the Mavericks.

8 Thunder’s biggest lead, 38-30.

9 Playoff wins by the Thunder this season.

10 Lead changes in the game.

12 Rebounds by Nick Collison, a new playoff career high.

40 Points by Thunder bench.

55 Wins the Thunder had in the regular season.

Post-Season The Thunder’s thrilling post-season run is over. Thirty teams make up the NBA and only 16 make the playoffs. After eliminating the Denver Nuggets in five games and the Memphis Grizzlies in seven, the Thunder was one of four teams still chasing the goal of an NBA Championship.


GAME IN REVIEW

THE GAME WAS OVER WHEN: The final buzzer sounded and American Airlines Center workers immediately roped off the court for the presentation of the Western Conference Champions trophy.

Final score: Dallas Mavericks 100, Oklahoma City Thunder 96.

"I thought that was a heck of a basketball game," Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks said. "That’s what you want. We wanted this game to be a tough, physical game and it was. I’m proud of our guys. They battled for the entire 48 minutes. We came up short, it’s unfortunate, but I have nothing but praise for our team. They battled."

The Thunder led 94-90 with 3:38 to play following a 10-foot jump shot by Kevin Durant coming out of a time out.

But the Mavericks responded like they have in every game in the series – with defensive stops, timely baskets and a few favorable bounces in a 10-2 run to close the game. Dirk Nowitzki missed a 3-point shot with 1:21 to play, but got a second attempt seven seconds later when Jason Terry stole the ball and got it to Nowitzki. His shot gave the Mavericks a 95-94 lead and sent the sold-out crowd into a cheering frenzy.

Mavericks forward Shawn Marion delivered an even more crushing blow with 48.9 seconds remaining with a fast-break dunk and free throw that happened only after a series of tips and touches by Thunder players sent the ball up for grabs. The three-point play put the Mavericks up 98-94.

“There were a lot of crazy plays that happened in this game,” Durant said.

ADDED BROOKS: "Sometimes those are the breaks of the game. You make a shot that keeps momentum going. You miss a shot, they get an opportunity and get out and run. It was a heck of a ballgame. They battled just as hard as we battled. Unfortunately, somebody has to lose this game, but I can’t complain with anything we did. We fought for 48 minutes."

NEW-LOOK LINEUP: Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks used a lineup late in the third quarter and throughout the fourth that he had not used in the playoffs: Nick Collison, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Eric Maynor and Russell Westbrook.

"In order to beat this team, I knew that we had to keep moving their feet and we put as much quickness on the floor as possible,” Brooks said. “I thought it gave us a chance to win this game. … It gave us a chance to really drive by them and create opportunities toward the basket. We were looking to get opportunities to use our speed and use our quickness to get around the rim and get some fouls."

PLAYS THE BOX SCORE WON'T SHOW: Kevin Durant dribbling up court in a full sprint with DeShawn Stevenson on his side. KD baits Stevenson into thinking he is going to drive to the basket, only Durant pulls up and drains a 3. … Russell Westbrook sacrificing his body to keep an early possession alive. … Kendrick Perkins rising for a jumper, but instead feeding Durant for an alley-oop. … Eric Maynor sprinting up court with an outlet pass from Serge Ibaka and driving through a trio of Mavericks defenders for bucket and a 35-30 lead. … Nick Collison grabbing an offensive rebound. The extra possession leads to a Maynor 3. … Collison throwing his hands up to intercept a pass from Dirk Nowitzki. … Westbrook hounding Jason Terry on defense, jarring the ball loose and forcing a jump ball that he easily wins. … Durant blocks the shot of Nowitzki close to the basket and taps the ball to Collison. … Harden steals the ball and takes it coast-to-coast for a layin and an 80-74 lead. … Collison racing to the sideline to keep the ball in bounds and get it to Harden, who goes hard to hoop for an 87-79 lead.

TURNING POINTS: The Thunder goes on a 9-2 run toward the end of the first quarter, turning a 17-12 deficit with 5:01 to play into a 21-19 lead with 2:09 left in the period. Kevin Durant started the run with an alley-oop dunk and Russell Westbrook ended it with a 3-point play to give the Thunder its first lead in the game. James Harden and Nick Collison, both of whom entered the game at 5:01, also had baskets in the run. … With Harden scoring from outside and inside, the Thunder opens the second quarter with an 11-4 run to build a 38-30 lead, its biggest in the first half. … With 4:45 remaining in the third quarter, Peja Stojakovic drills a 3-pointer to put the Mavericks up 65-63, their first lead since 28-27, and get the sold-out American Airlines Center back on its feet. The Thunder, however, won’t buckle. Oklahoma City outscores Dallas 13-7 and enters the fourth quarter with a 76-72 lead.

LAST WORD I: "This group, I couldn’t be more satisfied to be their coach because they give. I believe in work. You’ve got to get better on the practice floor. … I love what they’re about. I love the focus they give me and our staff and I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys that are committed to each other and committed to the team and committed to our city." - Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks.

LAST WORD II: "Well, you know, Oklahoma City is a great young team. They played with unbelievable fight and spirit. I mean, the game tonight, all of the games I’ve been involved with over the years in the playoffs, this is as hard a game as I’ve ever been involved with, just because of some of the adjustments they made, how they attacked. … Their time will come, but it’s not now. We feel like now is our time to move on." - Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle.

LAST WORD III: "It’s a different feeling. To be honest, all of us expected to go far. We had high expectations for ourselves coming into this year and we knew we worked hard enough. After a good first round, hard-fought second round, we put ourselves in good position to fight for a Finals appearance and thought we had a good chance. It’s kind of shocking our season is over." – Thunder forward Kevin Durant.

-- Ron Matthews, THUNDER.NBA.COM