And after Portland rallied from a 24-point deficit late in the third quarter to tie the series at 2-2, it certainly looked as if the disappointing Mavs could be forgotten first-round fodder yet again.
What happened next, Dirk Nowitzki says, set the stage for the greatest postseason run in franchise history. These revamped Mavs enter the playoffs at No. 7 and open up at No. 2 Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night. If another run is to come, it might take another moment that changes the course of history like the one Nowitzki explains here:
"Really, the turnaround for me was how we turned around and won Game 5 at home of the Portland series after everybody wrote us off. ‘There go the Mavs again, folding the tents after being up 20 in the fourth.' Everybody said we were going to lose that series and to come back and win that Game 5 was probably the biggest turnaround, and we carried that momentum through, won Game 6 and went into L.A. with some momentum after winning a playoff game, Game 6 in Portland -- we hadn’t won a playoff game on the road in forever it felt like. That Game 6 gave us the confidence, we went to L.A. and had two great games there.
And the rest is history."