Mavericks Done Against Surging Nuggets

Damian JacksonContributor IMay 14, 2009

DENVER - MAY 13:  Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks sits on the bench late in the game against  the Denver Nuggets in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi Center on May 13, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Mavericks 124-110 to advance to the Western Conference Finals. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Denver is advancing to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 1985.

The Mavericks are returning to Dallas, not for a Game 6, but instead to clean out their lockers and begin another offseason.

The Nuggets owned this series despite a pair of close matches at American Airlines Center in Texas.

In Games 1 and 2, Dallas managed to hang around for three quarters before succumbing to the turnover bug and seeing Denver capitalize.

Game 3 was one many fans will remember as one the league screwed up. However, even without a foul being called, Carmelo Anthony had to hit the shot. He did. Denver won the close game, a gut-wrenching loss for the home Mavericks.

Game 4 served up another battle, with tempers flaring and strong emotions following the previous contest. Dirk willed his team to a victory with 44 points and 13 rebounds.

Game 5 was a tease to Mavericks fans in a way. The Mavs had a promising start smashed once Josh Howard squandered an opportunity to give the team a nine point lead, but missed all three foul shot attempts. On the third miss, Denver collected the rebound and found Chauncey Billups for a transition three. Six point turnaround.

The Mavericks fell behind multiple times. Timeout. Dallas makes short run, but immediately answered by either Billups, Anthony, or super sub J.R. Smith knocking down spectacular shots.

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It wasn't a shock to see Dallas fall in the game, but knowing they blew opportunities is what makes the loss frustrating.

Dirk Nowitzki, freshly named to the All-NBA First Team, did everything and more for his Mavericks team. Congratulations Dirk.

Brandon Bass and J.J. Barea deserve a hand and tip of the hat for competing full throttle every time they touched the court.

Beyond those three it's hard to really give accolades. Jason Kidd struggled with the double team too often, causing non-Kidd like turnover numbers. Howard and two bad ankles, enough said. Jason Terry really never played like the sixth man of the year and it was costly.

Dirk was the only sure threat offensively throughout the series for Denver. The Nuggets had the obvious edge with consistent mob threat of Anthony, Billups, Smith, and Nene.

The Dallas Mavericks were simply outmatched.

Denver is sizzling, but it's summer in Dallas.

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