Basketball

Mavs rear up in homestretch to trip Thunder

OKLAHOMA CITY — Dirk Nowitzki scored 40 points, Jason Kidd hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 40 seconds to go in overtime and the Dallas Mavericks overcame a 15-point deficit in the final 5 minutes of regulation to stun the Oklahoma City Thunder, 112-105, on Monday night and take a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference finals.

Dallas didn’t lead until Nowitzki hit two free throws 16 seconds into overtime, needing to rally from a 99-84 deficit in the final 5 minutes of regulation. The Mavericks never let the Thunder – which was one win shy of tying an NBA record with eight OT wins in the regular season– go ahead in the extra period.

Kevin Durant missed a 3-pointer on Oklahoma City’s opening possession of overtime then didn’t get another shot until he missed a 3 off the front of the rim in the final 10 seconds with the Thunder down by five.

Durant finished with 29 points and 15 rebounds, and Serge Ibaka had 18 points and 10 boards for Oklahoma City. Russell Westbrook added 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

Game 5 is Wednesday night in Dallas.

The Mavericks handed Oklahoma City its first consecutive losses of the postseason and first back-to-back home losses in six months.

“We worked really hard these two games to win, and none of that guarantees anything for Game 5. We know that,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “All of us involved with this team have been through a lot of these wars. We understand our position that we’re in. We respect it. We’re very humble about it.

“We’ve got to get ourselves revved up and ready for Wednesday, because that’s an opportunity.”

Only two teams have come back from 3-1 deficits in NBA history without the benefit of home-court advantage in Game 7 – Houston in the 1995 West semifinals and Boston in the 1968 East finals.

“There’s no doubt it was a tough loss,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “If this loss did not hurt, there’s no such thing as a loss that can hurt you.”

Durant had nine of the Thunder’s 26 turnovers, including the one that led to the big shot by the 38-year-old Kidd.

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