Maybe it's the blue shirts.
Whatever the reason, Dallas feels right at home in Oklahoma City. The Mavericks are undefeated on Thunder hardwood this season.
And this latest victory was hardest for the home team.
Mavs 112, Thunder 105.
The Thunder built, then blew a 15-point, fourth-quarter lead Monday night. The Mavs ended regulation with a 17-2 run, sending the game to overtime where they outscored the Thunder 11-4.
That's a 28-6 run over the final 9:46, and that's the type of thing that'll get you beat in the NBA Western Conference Finals.
“There's no doubt it was a tough loss,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “If this loss did not hurt, there's no such thing as a loss that can hurt you.”
Safe to say, this loss hurt everyone in Thunder blue. The Mavs now have a 3-1 advantage in this best-of-seven series, which shifts back to the Metroplex on Wednesday night.
Tip time: 8 p.m.
“We worked really hard these two games to win,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said of the back-to-back games in Oklahoma City, “and none of that guarantees anything for Game 5. We've got to get ourselves rested up and ready for Wednesday because that's an opportunity.”
It's an opportunity that the Mavs seemed primed to take advantage of. They will be riding a wave of momentum from Game 4. They looked finished with five minutes left in regulation and the Thunder rolling.
Ironic, that the thunder was also rolling outside at the same time. With one of those familiar spring thunderstorms bearing down on the Oklahoma City Arena, you thought a victory was meant to be.
What could be more fitting?
But then the Mavs drew a couple fouls — both on James Harden that sent the Thunder reserve to the bench with six fouls — and scored points with the clock stopped.
That started a 7-0 run that ignited the Mavs and burned the Thunder.
“I believe that was all about getting stops,” Carlisle said. “Every guy that was in there during that period made big plays. Big offensive plays. Big extra pass plays.
“They keep believing.”
Now, it's the Thunder's turn to keep the faith. If it doesn't win Wednesday in Dallas, this team has played its last game in Oklahoma City for this season.
“It's such a blessing to have great fans because they could've easily just walked out on us,” Thunder superstar Kevin Durant said. “They stuck with us when they were on their way back. They didn't boo or anything.”
But when all was said and done, the arena fell into a stunned silence, save the Mavericks fans who infiltrated the Thunder crowd.
“This is a fantastic place to play a playoff game,” Carlisle said. “The level of enthusiasm and noise ... these fans are beyond belief.”
But the Mavs feel plenty comfortable going against the Thunder faithful.
Too comfortable for Oklahoma City's liking.