With the Mavericks' backs against the wall, it was a win or go home situation. The dead silence was deafening at the end of the first quarter, with Mavs fan figuring the game was over. The Nuggets were up 34-23 at the end of the first and the crowd fell silent after a three pointer in the opening seconds of the second by Jr Smith, extending the lead to 37-23.
After a couple of missed shots, Anthony and Wright got tangled up, ending in Anthony getting called for the technical. This seemed to ignite the Mavs, who finished the quarter with a tremendous run, narrowing the gap down to 10.
It would have been five but the Mavericks' Jason Terry got a flagrant one foul called on him as Billups hit the free-throw. Klezia followed up by hitting three free throws and `Melo driving to the hoop, making it 63-53.
The game got closer and closer but was stopped by a turnover during nearly every possession, resulting in the Nuggets' building onto their lead. Anthony, who recorded a career playoff-high 41 points, caused five of those turnovers, with as many steals in the game.
Things got worse when Maverick fans started to mess with Carmelo Anthony's girlfriend and MTV star LaLa Vazque, who was then removed from the game by security guards to ensure her safety.
"They're allowed to be fans, but when it gets personal, it goes over the top,'' said Denver's Chauncey Billups, who had 24 points and seven assists.
Added Nuggets coach George Karl, "I would probably use an uglier word than hostile, but I'm not going to do that right now. I don't think it was very classy.''
Not only that, but in the previous game Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks jawed off to Kenyon Martins mother, calling her son a "punk".
Cuban apologized on his blog by saying, "At this point I would like to apologize to you and your mom, KMart, for my comment. I should have not said anything and I was wrong. Hopefully you will accept the apology and we can move on. If that isn’t acceptable, I’m happy to provide a suite, free of charge to them as well and place whatever security is needed to make them feel comfortable."
The Mavericks took their first lead at the 1:05 mark, going up 114-112. The Nuggets never regained the lead. With 3.1 seconds left, Billups passed the ball to the right wing, in which Carmelo hit a three pointer to bring them within one point.
It would end there as Jason Terry hit his first free throw, and intentionally missed his second.
"It was an unbelievable game,'' said Nowitzki, who scored 19 of his 44 points in the fourth quarter. "We were down the whole game, but were able to come back and win and we've been doing that all season long...We've got to go back to Denver and let it all hang out again.''
Dirk is absolutely right. Game five will be in the Mile High City where the Denver Nuggets have gone 5-0 in the post season 15-0 since March 11th.
Chris Anderson missed the game as he went back in to the locker room after introduction as he had stomach pain/ cramps.
Game five is on Wednesday 9:00 PM EST/ 6:00 PM.