Dirk Nowitzki was happy this past Saturday’s 89-84 victory over Alba Berlin turned out to be a close contest.
In the first two games of last season’s first-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, poor execution down the stretch by the Dallas Mavericks led to losses in both of those games. The same thing happened in Game 4 of that series.
The Mavs lost Game 1 of that series against the Thunder, 99-98. Then they dropped Game 2, 102-99, and was on the short end of a 104-97 score in Game 4 and the Thunder swept the series 4-0.
The Mavs were nursing a one-point lead against Berlin, then Delonte West nailed a three-pointer with 2:12 left for an 84-80 cushion. Berlin cut the deficit to two points before Shawn Marion scored to push the Mavs ahead 86-82 with 23.3 seconds remaining.
Berlin closed the gap to two points before a pair of free throws by Dirk Nowitzki with 11.9 seconds left and another one by West with 3.7 ticks remaining closed out the scoring.
“It was a very tight game, so that helped in the end that we really had to fight,’’ Nowitzki said. “It was fun to play here in that atmosphere.’’
-- Dwain Price
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