Just when the coals that have fueled the NBA's hottest team were finally cooling off, a courtside spectator inside Oklahoma City Arena fanned the flames and re-ignited the fire by throwing some misguided trash talk on the red-hot Mavericks.
In the end, the Mavs went home with a 103-93 win.
The fan went home before subjecting himself to the final score.
With Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki saddled with a right knee injury, it was reserve guard Jason Terry who supplied the theatrics. And the always affable Terry thoroughly enjoyed swishing shot after shot in the decisive fourth quarter to sit down and shut up the blabbermouth who took aim at him from the opening quarter.
â€œEvery arena I go to, they always pick on me,â€ Terry said. â€œI don't think it's the high socks, but I always find one or two fans that will pick on me.â€
Monday night, it was a middle-aged man who regularly sits in the first seat next to the scorer's table by the Thunder's bench. The chatter intensified when Terry missed six of his first seven shots.
â€œTerry, keep shooting. You're with us tonight,â€ Terry recalled the fan saying, enunciating every syllable as he reiterated the statement. â€œI said: â€˜Don't worry. I'm really going to keep shooting now.'â€
Terry entered the fourth quarter shooting just 1-for-9 from the field. He had two points and two fouls. The fan blurted out that fact to Terry, suggesting the shooting guard keep scoring or keep fouling.
Terry did the former.
Terry made five of eight shots in the final frame to help Dallas outscore Oklahoma City, 24-12. Terry had 11 points, including a back-breaking 3-pointer with 8:36 remaining that gave the Mavs an 86-84 lead they never relinquished. Terry then assisted on two pivotal buckets that pushed the Mavs lead to seven and then eight.
And as Terry splashed each shot through the net, he pointed to the fan and passionately rattled off a few words unsuitable for print.