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The Mavericks defense had Kevin Durant and the Thunder lookin’ like some hoes.

You can imagine what a nightmare the final five minutes of regulation were for Kevin Durant.

The doubt seeped into the Oklahoma City Arena brick by brick, as Durant and his teammates combined to shoot 1-of-10 to finish the fourth quarter.

Staredown by staredown, the Mavericks showed zero fear and the Thunder repeatedly wilted.

Dirk moment by Dirk moment, this series’ greatest player proved just how wide the gap is between Nos. 41 and 35. (Hint: It’s a hell of a lot wider than the gap between 99 and 84, which was the Thunder lead with 5:05 to play.)

Think of how painful that fateful stretch must’ve been for Durant, whose regulation crunch-time stat line looked like this: one turnover, three missed shots and as lame an attempt at a buzzer-beating game-winner as we’ve seen from anyone all season.

Add up all that pain, that embarrassment, that crushing disappointment.

The Mavs clearly have full confidence that they are going to win this series.

“We believe, man,” Marion said. “We just kept fighting and fighting.”

Late in the game is Jason Kidd’s time. The 38-year-old point guard didn’t merely play his usual rock-solid floor game (17 points, 7 assists). For crying out loud, the ancient former “ason” (as in, no J) hit the shot of the game, a tie-breaking three with 40 seconds left in overtime.

“People still think that Kidd is not a good shooter,” Nowitzki said. “(But) any time he’s open down the stretch, it’s going in.”
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle spoke volumes in three words: “Never underestimate greatness.”

As talented as the Oklahoma City team is, will beats skill everyday of the week and twice on Sundays.




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