In Game 4 at Portland in the opening round of the playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks led by 23 with 1:15 left in the third quarter before the Trail Blazers stormed back thanks to 18 fourth-quarter points from Brandon Roy to win 84-82 and tie the series at 2.
In Game 3 on Saturday night inside Oklahoma City Arena, the Mavs led by 23 in the second quarter and saw the Oklahoma City Thunder cut the lead to four in the final minute before Dallas prevailed 93-87 to take 2-1 series lead.
Several Mavs said before Sunday's practice what happened against Portland was beneficial in holding off the Thunder.
"We didn't panic," said future Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd, who had 13 points, eight assists, six rebounds and four steals. "We stayed the course. We knew they were going to make a run. Basketball is all about runs and who can have the biggest or make the last run."
COLLARED BY COLLISON
Dirk Nowitzki had seven turnovers and shot 7 for 21 from the field in Game 3 and primarily was guarded by Nick Collison, who played 24 minutes.
"Oh, man. I did everything," Nowitzki said. "Sometimes I got caught in the air, threw the ball away. Sometimes they reached in, I dribbled off my feet. Stuff happens, I guess, when you're trying to make plays a little too much. Obviously, they were physical. Somebody else would come in, try to force things a little. I just have to look at the film, see what they're doing and act accordingly (in Game 4 on Monday at 8 p.m.)."
Asked what Collison did defensively, Nowitzki said: "Just being physical. You saw how he plays. It's nothing new for the last couple years. He battled Z-Bo (Memphis power forward Zach Randolph) great in the last round. Z-Bo is probably the best low-post scorer we have in the game right now, and he battled him. He's a smart and good defender, hard-nosed. He plays hard."
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