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Both Thunder and Mavericks showed their age in Game 4

BY JOHN ROHDE Staff Writer Published: May 24, 2011

With a loss, the Thunder would be eliminated, and the next phase of the downtown arena refurbishing project is free to commence.

With a win, the Thunder would force Game 6 back home on Friday at 8 p.m.

After a Kevin Durant 3-pointer with 5:05 left in regulation gave the Thunder a 99-84 lead, Dallas coach Rick Carlisle called timeout and proceeded to tell his talented team it essentially was on its own.

"At that point in time we realized, 'What do we have to lose?' " said Terry, who finished with 20 points, five rebounds and four steals.

Asked what he instructed his team to do offensively, Carlisle said, "Let the guys play. I mean, I don't know if I called any plays during that period of time. We've really worked at becoming a good flow team, which means you're just playing basketball off each other."

Meanwhile, the Thunder froze — offensively and defensively — as the Mavericks outscored OKC 28-6 in the final 9:49 of play.

In the fourth quarter, Dirk Nowitzki scored 12 of his 40 points and the Mavs converted 9 of 11 free throws, while the Thunder countered with 29.2-percent shooting (7 for 24) from the field, nine fouls and five turnovers.

Amazingly, OKC lost despite having a 55-33 rebounding advantage, which included a 20-5 margin on the offensive end. The Thunder also had nine blocked shots to the Mavs' two.

"The one thing about this team all year is it's been a resourceful group," Carlisle said.

"Our guys are very resilient," Brooks said.

In the end, resourceful triumphed over resilient.