The Dallas Mavericks advanced to the NBA Finals for the second time in six years after closing out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 4-1, in the Western Conference Final. Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki scored a team-high 26 points with 9 rebounds and forward Shawn Marion added another 26 points with 8 rebounds; as Dallas closed the door on the series with a 100-96 win in Game 5 on May 25 at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas.
Thunder guards Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant scored combined 54 points in an attempt to extend the best-of-seven series, pushing OKC to a double-digit lead in the second half. But they weren’t able to fend off a pressing Dallas roster filled with veteran stars desperate to return the NBA Final series.
Dallas guard Jason Terry joins Nowitzki as the only player left from the Mavericks roster that reached the Final in 2006. But veteran point guard Jason Kidd also reached the Final back in the early 2000s with the New Jersey Nets.
“We’ve got one of those trophies already,” Nowitzki said. “This is nice for a day, but we set our goals in October to win it all. We haven’t done it yet.”
Dallas now awaits the winner of the Eastern Conference Final series between the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls. Miami leads that series, 3-1.