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article imageNBA: Dallas is first team to reach NBA Finals with 100-96 win

By Austin Tyler     May 26, 2011 in Sports
Dallas - Dallas welcomed their team back home up 3-1, and the home crowd gave them the energy to pull off another come from behind victory. The Thunder’s offense became stagnate as the Mavs offense began to click and get a series ending victory over OKC.
The Dallas Mavericks (57-25) took a 3-1 lead heading back home to host the Oklahoma City Thunder (55-27) for game five of this Western Conference Finals. The Thunder had a chance to come back to Dallas with the series tied after game four, but they allowed the Mavs to come back and take it into overtime. Dallas took advantage of the overtime period, and came into this game with a chance to shut the door on the Thunder season.
Dallas did just that, they slammed the door close and stamped their ticket on a return visit to the NBA Finals. The Mavs have not been to the finals or in the Western Conference Finals since 2006 with suffered a heartbreaking four game losing streak to the Miami Heat. They got some new pieces since then and one of them in Shawn Marion led them to victory tonight.
Tyson Chandler struck first for the Dallas Mavericks as they jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead. Kevin Durant then scored with a pair of free-throws and a jumper to get the Thunder within two-points. Chandler made a jumper and Dirk Nowitzki made a jumper to give the Mavs a six-point lead. Durant made a three-pointer and Russell Westbrook made a jumper to get the Thunder within two-points, 13-12.
Jason Terry made a three-pointer that made a 16-12 game with five-minutes left in the quarter. Kevin Durant and James Harding made baskets to get the Thunder back within one-point, 17-16. Terry made another jumper, but then the Thunder went on a 8-3 run that gave them a 23-22 lead. James Harden scored the last four points for the Thunder as they ended the quarter with a 27-26 lead.
Shawn Marion got a dunk to open the second quarter for the Mavs, and then the Thunder got a jumper from Nick Collison and free-throws from James Harden to make it a 31-28 lead. Dirk Nowitzki made a jumper to get the Mavs within one-points, but Serge Ibaka made a jumper to give the Thunder a 7-0 run. The run was capped off with a James Harden three-pointer which gave OKC a 38-30 lead.
Dallas got a pair of J.J. Barea layups which got the Mavs within three-points 39-36. Eric Maynor made a three-pointer to make the lead bigger, and Nick Collison’s jumper made it a six-point game.
Russell Westbrook and James Harden made jumpers to give the Thunder a 50-43 lead and force Dallas to take a timeout. Jason Terry later made a three-pointer that got the Mavs within two-points, 54-52. Harden later made a free-throw gave them a 55-52 lead going into halftime.
Dirk Nowitzki opened the third quarter with a jumper to make it a 55-54 game. Russell Westbrook gave the Thunder a three-point lead with a pair of free-throws, but Shawn Marion made a jumper to get it back down to a one-point game. Jason Kidd made a layup and DeShawn Stevenson made a free-throw to tie the game up 59 points apiece.
Russell Westbrook broke the tie only to have Brendan Haywood tie it back up. Jason Terry made a free-throw to get the Mavs within one-point then Peja Stojakovic made a three-pointer to give the Mavs a 65-63 lead.
The Thunder had taken the ball up the court to call a timeout and Jason Terry swiped at the ball while Russell Westbrook was signaling for the timeout. Westbrook did not like it and gave Terry a shove, and Westbrook was hit with a technical foul. Terry made the free-throw and gave the Mavs a 66-63 lead.
Oklahoma City then went on a 9-0 run that was started by a Kevin Durant three-pointer. The Thunder had a 77-66 lead with 1:55 left in the quarter. Russell Westbrook scored four points to give the Thunder a 76-70 lead till Dirk Nowitzki ended the quarter with a jumper to make it a 76-72 game going into the final period.
Russell Westbrook opened the fourth quarter with a layup to give the Thunder a 78-72 lead. James Harden made a jumper and Kevin Durant made a three-pointer to give OKC an 83-76 lead. Dirk Nowitzki made a jumper to get the Mavs close then Shawn Marion made back-to-back layups to make it a 87-83 games.
Nick Collison got a dunk to give the Thunder a 90-83 lead. The Mavs then went on a 7-2 run to get the Mavs within two-points. The Mavs run consisted of all free-throws with Chandler, Barea, Nowitzki and Marion making them. The score was 92-90 and Kevin Durant made a jumper to make it 94-90.
Shawn Marion made a jumper to get the Mavs back within two-points. The game came down to one crucial sequence where Dirk Nowitzki stole the ball from Russell Westbrook on a bad pass. Dirk tried a three-pointer but missed it then Westbrook had the rebound, but was bumped by Tyson Chandler with no foul call. Westbrook lost the ball and Terry kicked it to Dirk who knocked down a three-pointer to give the Mavs a 95-94 lead.
Shawn Marion then got a steal off a bad pass by Nick Collison and went down for a dunk that turned into a three-point play after being fouled by Kevin Durant. Russell Westbrook made a pair of free-throws to make a two-point game, 98-96. Dirk Nowitzki made a made a pair of free-throws, but the game was sealed when Durant and James Harden missed three-pointers and Jason Terry got the rebound.
Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks
Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks
flickr/Keith Allison
Russell Westbrook led the Thunder in scoring with 32 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. Kevin Durant scored 23 points with nine rebounds, and James Harden also scored 23 points with six assists and five rebounds off the bench. Nick Collison scored 12 points with 12 rebounds off the bench for the Thunder.
Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki scored 26 points apiece to led the Mavs. Marion had nine rebounds and two steals with Nowitzki having eight rebounds and three assists. Tyson Chandler had nine points and rebounds with Jason Kidd having 10 assists and seven rebounds.
J.J. Barea came off the bench with 14 points and Jason Terry added 12 points.
After the game the team celebrated for a second it seemed as they raised the trophy, and while the ESPN reporters were looking for Dirk and others to interview afterwards had already walked off the floor.
This is the second time the Dallas Mavs have won the Western Conference Finals and this is their second trip to the NBA Finals. They are 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals and will be looking to be 1-1 in the NBA Finals if they can pull the win off in the next round.
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