Wednesday , May , 02 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Golden State Warriors Blow Late Lead, Dirk Nowitzki And Dallas Win Game Five

The Golden State Warriors blew it. They had the Dallas Mavericks down-and-out in the fourth quarter, but lost their focus and eventually the game … Dirk Nowitzki finally looked like an MVP, hitting clutch three-pointers and free throws down the stretch … We’ve got your analysis and recap from a classic game five right here…

What Happened: The had the on the ropes, but couldn’t deliver the knockout punch.

After erasing a 21-point deficit, the Warriors blew a 9-point lead in the final stages of the game. The Warriors surged ahead in the fourth quarter on a string of three-point shots.

responded with consecutive three-pointers, starting a late 15-0 run for Dallas, which clinched the Mavericks’ 118-112 win on Tuesday night.

Golden State, despite the loss, still leads the series 3-2.

The Warriors were up 112-103 with a few minutes left to play. They were on the verge of pulling off a historic upset. The first-seed has only been upset twice in the opening round.

, up until that point, had been fantastic, scoring 27 points and dishing out nine assists, while added 23 points.

For some reason, even with a late-lead, Golden State continued to push the tempo, giving Dallas an opportunity to get back into the game.

And Nowitzki certainly took advantage of the opportunity presented. He scored 12 of his 30 points down the stretch and added 12 rebounds for Dallas. had 23 points to go with eight boards.

Game six is Saturday in Golden State.

Reaction of Dallas Coach Avery Johnson on the late comeback:
"Our guys are resilient, they have a lot of pride. We were able to finish, we were able to close out a game. When this team gets hot, it can be pretty special." (ESPN)

Reaction of Dallas forward Devean George
on Nowitzki’s performance:
"We got on Dirk’s back and he carried us. That’s who he is for us. We’re going to ride with him. … We’ll build off this. We’ve been fighting all year. We’ll do the same in the next game."  (CNNSI)

Reaction of Golden State Coach Don Nelson on the disappointing loss:
"All we had to do is guard and we didn’t do it," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. There’s no excuse for that. Bad judgment cost us the game."

My Take: Here’s the situation: the Warriors were up nine points with a few minutes left o play. Instead of controlling the clock, they continued to push the tempo and take quick shots. Golden State suddenly went cold, missing several field goal attempts.

The door was left wide-open open for Dallas. The Mavericks went on a run and ended up winning the game. I love the Warriors style of play. It’s so refreshing and fun to watch. But tonight, they were their own worst enemy.

With a 112-103 lead late in the fourth quarter, Baron Davis and Matt Barnes both missed 20-foot jumpers. At such a critical point in the game, the Warriors should have slowed the tempo and looked for better shots. And they also stopped playing defense in the last few minutes.

Golden State can still close out the series at home on Saturday. But Dallas now has the momentum heading into game six. Let’s hope Thursday’s match is as exciting as game five.

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