On verge of NBA finals, Mavs coach pushes basics

May 24, 2011 - 3:58 PM
Mavericks Thunder Basketball

Dallas Mavericks' Brendan Haywood, center left, and Dirk Nowitzki, center right, of Germany, along with the rest of the Mavericks bench react to the final seconds of overtime of Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference finals basketball series against the Oklahoma City Thunder Monday, May 23, 2011, in Oklahoma City. The Mavericks won 112-105. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

DALLAS (AP) — The day after one of the Mavericks' greatest comeback victories, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd had all sorts of things running through their minds.

And coach Rick Carlisle will give them something else to think about for Game 5 on Wednesday night — more rebounds, fewer turnovers and tougher defense so a monumental comeback is not needed in the last five minutes.

Carlisle doesn't expect his veteran squad to lose focus after going up 3-1 against Oklahoma City in the Western Conference finals, but he's not taking any chances.

The Thunder could be teetering after blowing a 15-point lead near the end of Game 4. Star Kevin Durant said he was so distraught he couldn't even speak to his mother or grandmother.