The Thunder was rolling in Oklahoma City. Thunder F Kevin Durant hit a huge shot for what he thought was the dagger in the game. He then began to celebrate as if he were Packers QB Aaron Rodgers when he put that imaginary championship belt around his waist. The Thunder went up 15 and there was only about 5 minutes left in the game. Well, someone forgot to tell Dirk and the Dallas Mavericks that.
The Dallas Mavericks went on a 17-2 run down the stretch to tie the game and send it into overtime, where the Mavericks pulled out the win 112-105. The Mavs were assisted by the turnovers by the Thunder's youngsters and by their inability to manage the shot clock. A lot of people will point the finger at PG Russell Westbrook, but as the star of the team, Durant has to take some blame as well. He had 9 of their 26 turnovers. This team is a team that is still young and learning. And if they stay together and keep learning and building, they will eventually be the team to beat in the West. They just don't have the experience as of yet.
The Mavericks are the opposite of the Thunder. They are a veteran team that stays cool under pressure. The Mavs looked at the seemingly insurmountable lead and found a way to win. Maverick teams of the past would have wilted in this situation, but the veteran leadership and the fact that most of these guys have been around the NBA for a while helped pull them through. The Mavs are a team that realize that tomorrow isn't promised and that they have to take advantage of every opportunity given to them because time is running short. Dirk and Jason Terry know that especially. They were on the 2006 Mavs team that made the NBA Finals versus the Miami Heat. The Mavs lost that series, but people were really sure they would be back again next year. Well, that goes to show you that nothing is set in stone and you have to make the most of your moment.
More than likely, this series is over. The Thunder will ponder on this loss and who knows, it could be a motivating factor for them. But as far as this season, the Thunder have shown that their youth can be a great strength at times, but it can also be a hindrance. As for the Mavs, their resolve carried them to another big-time win as they try to fight off the sounds of that clock ticking ever so faintly in their ears.