The I-35 series is over, and the Dallas Mavericks are on their way to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2006, after defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five in the best-of-seven series, 100-96.
The Thunder had yet another fourth-quarter breakdown, due to uneven play at point guard. Oklahoma City had a seven-point lead with five and a half minutes left in the game, but squandered it because of turnovers and poor shot selection.
The Mavericks battled back thanks to veterans Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion, who combined to score 14 points in the four-minute span.
Nowitzki and Marion each scored 26 points, and J.J. Barea added 15 points, while the other Mavericks' players generally struggled.
The Thunder, who were taken to a seven-game series with the Grizzlies in the Second Round had a second-straight lackluster fourth quarter, and it's possible fatigue played a role against the more rested Mavericks.
Russell Westbrook scored 32 points, but shot just 11-of-28 from the field, for the Thunder. Kevin Durant scored 23 points and added nine rebounds.
James Harden gave another strong contribution off the bench for Oklahoma City, with a 23-point performance, on seven-for-11 shooting from the field.