DALLAS — In Game 4 on Monday night, the Dallas Mavericks finished the fourth quarter with a 17-2 run in the last 4:49.
In Game 5 on Wednesday night, the Mavs finished with a 17-6 run in the last 5:49.
Put the two together and now the Oklahoma City Thunder is finished.
The first collapse brought a 112-105 overtime loss at home. The second brought a 100-96 setback after a gallant battle on the road.
Both failures abruptly ended the season for the Northwest Division champions, who rarely lost two straight games. The Thunder wound up being eliminated from the Western Conference Finals by suffering only its second three-game losing streak in a 99-game season.
"I'm proud of our guys," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said afterward. "They battled for the entire 48 minutes. We came up short. It's unfortunate, but I have nothing but praise for our team."
On a scale of 1 to 10, the pain of the last two losses probably each registered around a 19.
Actually, Wednesday's loss might have come in at a 20.
"This one's got to hurt more," Thunder reserve point guard Eric Maynor said without hesitation. "We're done."
OKC's season came to a close because the Thunder couldn't close out a game, though Maynor disagrees.
"We just fell short, man," said Maynor, who played 11 minutes, 47 seconds of the final period and went 0 for 3 with four fouls and two turnovers. "We closed games all year. If people want to make judgments over two games, that's on them, but I think we closed games all year. We just fell short."
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