The Dallas Mavericks needed this game last night against the Oklahoma City Thunder. No matter how dynamic the Thunder are, there was no way the Mavericks could have afforded losing three of their first four games on this eight-game homestand.
Again, as should have been expected, the Mavericks had a respectable lead towards the end of the fourth quarter, only to blow it. The Mavericks as a whole, perhaps following head coach Rick Carlisle‘s instructions to ‘man up’ following the debacle against the Brooklyn Nets, came through in the clutch to force the overtime period in the first place.
There should be little doubt, though, that the Mavericks were inspired and led by the face of the franchise, Dirk Nowitzki, who hit a layup to put the Mavericks up one with just over two minutes remaining. He also hit his ‘patented’ fadeaway jumper with just over a minute remaining to put Dallas up by three.
What’s so fascinating though about Nowitzki’s late-game contributions is the fact he was cold, especially from 3-point land, just before he led Dallas to a 128-119 victory over the Thunder.
There the Mavericks were on the outside looking in, perhaps with their season on the line, and Nowitzki came to the rescue. With another seven points in the overtime period to give Nowitzki 32 points on the night, his explosion was reminiscent of the work he did against the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals back in 2011.
Perhaps there were some who thought Nowitzki was entering a decline during this cold streak, but the German showed once again that he is still great.