The importance of having a veteran point guard was very visible at Oklahoma City Arena on Monday night.
Jason Kidd came up with some big plays in the fourth quater and overtime, and Russell Westbrook failed to hit some key shots and made some costly turnovers as the Mavericks staged a furious comeback and beat the Thunder, 112-105, and took a 3-1 lead in the series.
Dirk Nowitzki came up with some big shots as the Mavericks fought back from 15-point deficit with five minutes remaining. The seven-footer was on fire, and the Thunder didn't have the veteran leadership to hold off the run.
Nowitzki hit 12 shots on 20 attempts, and finished with 40 points. He was the main difference in the 17-2 run to end the game.
Kidd had 17 points off five-of-nine shooting, and had seven assists in 41 minutes. The veteran was able to control the game and hit key shots in the closing minutes.
Meanwhile, young and athletic Westbrook took 22 shots and converted only seven. He also had six turnovers. The poor shot selection and the combination of the team's 25 total turnovers were big reasons that the Thunder couldn't get the victory.
It's hard to imagine the Thunder could surrender the 15-point lead, but the loss of James Harden due to fouling out turned out to be very meaningful.
The Thunder completely outrebounded the Mavericks, 55 to 33. Oklahoma City shot 47 percent, compared to Dallas's 43 percent.
Game Five will be in Dallas.