The Los Angeles Lakers held the Dallas Mavericks at-bay heading into the fourth quarter, and were in position to take home the win in Game 3. With four minutes to go, the Lakers were clinging to a six-point lead, but it certainly felt as if the Mavericks had one more run in them. And, of course, they did.
The Dirk Nowitzki show rolled on in the fourth as the big forward took over, hitting tough shots and setting up his teammates. Two free throws and an impossible lay-in, with a Jason Terry three sandwiched between, put the Mavericks up two with just a minute to go. An empty possession on the other end -- Lamar Odom inexplicably ran an iso -- was followed by a terrible foul by Derek Fisher on the other end, putting Jason Terry at the line and giving the Mavs a four point lead.
And, again, the Lakers folded in crunch-time. Fisher didn't even give Lamar Odom a chance on the ensuing inbound after Terry's free throw as the ball sailed out of bounds. Dallas was able to seal it at the line to secure a 98-92 win to take a 3-0 series lead, putting the Lakers one game from elimination.
Nowitzki finished with a game-high 32 points. Jason Terry added 23 points and Peja Stojakovic joined the two in double-figures with 15 points. Jason Kidd finished with 11 points and nine assists.
Andrew Bynum scored a team-high 21 points, but disappeared down the stretch. Lamar Odom added 18 points and Kobe Bryant pitched-in 17 points. Pau Gasol and Shannon Brown were also in double-figures with 12 and 10 respectively.
Be sure to check out our Lakers vs. Mavericks hub for full series coverage. For more on the Lakers, visit Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles. For more on the Mavericks, visit Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.