Dallas Mavericks: 15 best playoff moments in franchise history
Dallas Mavericks best playoff moment: 6. 2011 Western Conference Finals games one and four
Nobody expected the Mavericks to win this series quickly. They took it in five, but it was in no way an easy task. The Thunder led by Kevin Durant fought every step of the way.
The Thunder’s Nick Collision embraced the challenge of guarding Dirk Nowitzki. He made it tough for Dirk all series. Unfortunately for the Thunder, it was not enough. Nowitzki dropped 48 in game one and 40 in game four. In retrospect, Dirk has said many times that this was his best series of the 2011 playoff run.
The Thunder thought being physical with Nowitzki would throw him off his game. Instead, he went on to break more records. Dirk’s 24 free throws in game one were the most consecutive made in a postseason contest.
Game four was the turning point in the series. The Mavericks held a 2-1 lead heading into Oklahoma City. With five minutes left in the fourth, Kevin Durant nailed a three to put the Thunder up 99-84. The game seemed over, but Dirk had other ideas.
James Harden fouled out just seconds later. That gave Dallas a bit of momentum. The Mavs went on a 16 to two run to force over including 12 points by Nowitzki.
Dirk was too much for the young Thunder. He played the final 17 minutes without a rest to lead Dallas to a 112-105 overtime win. Nowitzki finished with 40 points.