Dallas Stuns Thunder, Takes Control of Series

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:25 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: May 23, 2011 11:20 PM CDT

Grant Belcher
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY – One of the biggest questions for Oklahoma City after the Game 3 loss was how the Thunder could get off to a good start in the next game.

Turns out, they needed more help on how to finish it.

OKC gave up a 15-point lead with just less than five minutes remaining, allowing Dallas to force overtime and come away with a 112-105 Game 4 victory.

The loss puts the Thunder in a tough spot to say the least, for they will have to not only recover from a terribly demoralizing defeat but also win three straight if they want to advance.

The Mavericks took a 3-1 lead in the series, which will now head back to Dallas where the Mavs will try to clinch a spot in the NBA Finals.

OKC got off to a blazing start, hitting its first nine shots and shooting nearly 70 percent in the quarter.

The Thunder also shot almost 60 percent in the first half overall.

But Dirk Nowitzki single-handedly kept the Mavs in it, scoring 22 points in the first half to keep within five at the break.

Oklahoma City led 99-84 with 4:48 remaining, but Dallas ended regulation with a miraculous 17-2 run to tie it up.

Jason Kidd provided the dagger with a 3-pointer to go up 108-105 with 40 seconds remaining, and Dallas hit its free throws down the stretch.

Despite the hot start, OKC ended up with some ugly numbers. The Thunder had 26 turnovers in the game and shot 2-of-12 from 3-point range.

Oklahoma City actually outrebounded the Mavs 55-32.

Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 29 points and 15 rebounds, but also had nine turnovers.

Russell Westbrook had 19 points and six turnovers.

Nowitzki put up 40 points for the Mavericks.

Game 5 will tip at 8 p.m. on Wednesday in Dallas.