DALLAS -- The Mavericks won Game 4, so this gets glossed over in the papers, on the radio, on the internet. But it doesn't get glossed over in the Mavericks' locker room:
Their rebounding that night was abysmal.
At game's end, Oklahoma City had a 55-33 edge on the boards, but it was even worse than that midway through the fourth quarter. When the Thunder had that 99-84 lead with less than five minutes to go -- a lead that should have been insurmountable -- the Thunder also had a 48-22 edge on the boards. That's plus-26. That's more than double the Mavs' rebounding output.
What that really is?
"A big problem," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said before Game 5. "We're going to have to play a lot better. The plays where our bigs are scrambling and trying to get back to rebound, that's one thing. But the ones at the free-throw line where [OKC] guys are just stepping into us and taking the ball away? That can't happen."
So about that rally in Game 4. Two days later, Carlisle was ready to call it what it was.
"We pulled off a miracle," he said.
"We're going to have to play a lot better than we've been playing. We played pretty good in Game 3, but there were 5-6 minutes there late -- not good enough. We're going to have to put together 48 minutes of basketball. This is an opponent that causes a lot of problems."
This is an opponent, according to OKC coach Scott Brooks, that wasn't done in, emotionally, by that Game 4 meltdown.
"They're a resilient group," Brooks said. "The spirit of this team is good. We're going to play as hard as we can tonight. There's a never a doubt in my mind that's not going happen. They came today fresh. They're ready to play."