Record crowd provides Mavs noisy push

DALLAS -- Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle first started calling for the home crowd to show up rowdy, proud and loud after the Game 4 debacle in Portland when the Rose Garden faithful blew the roof off the place.

After taking two in Los Angeles, Carlisle and Mavs players continued to encourage high-decibel cheering. Owner Mark Cuban provided "blue-out" T-shirts for the first time this postseason and a blue maraca on every seat. ThunderStix were dropped from the rafters before the game.

And an American Airlines Center record crowd of 21,156 reveled in the Mavs' 98-92 victory Friday night that moved Dallas to the brink of an improbable sweep of the two-time defending Los Angeles Lakers.

"You've got to give our crowd a lot of credit," Carlisle said. "It was as every bit as loud as it was in Portland in here tonight, and that was a difference-maker for us."

Before tip-off, the crowd initiated a "Let's Go Mavs" chant. Throughout the game, the crowd was involved, leading up to the fourth quarter and crunch time. As the Mavs bolted to a 20-7 run in the final 5:08, the crowd cheered wildly and chants of "De-fense" filled the cavernous arena to a fever pitch.

"The 'blue-out' was great, it was great to see," Dirk Nowitzki said. "The building was as loud as I've ever heard it. That was great. They pushed us forward there in the fourth. And when we made shots there and tied the game and took the lead it was a madhouse."