Dirk Nowitzki Excels In Mavericks' Win Over Heat Despite Being Sick In Game 4

Dirk Nowitzki didn't have the best game of his NBA Playoffs run in the Dallas Mavericks' 86-83 Game 4 win over the Miami Heat on Tuesday. But he did score 21 points, 10 during a fourth quarter that saw the Mavericks go on a 17-4 run to erase a nine-point deficit. He also added 11 rebounds, and was certainly the biggest factor for Dallas in the win. But the amazing part is that he did it all while sick, running a fever of 101 degrees.

We didn't find out Dirk was sick until halftime, with the Mavericks trailing 47-45 and Nowitzki having eight points on 5-10 shooting and just one rebound. He excelled in the second half (13 points, most on free throws, plus 10 rebounds), playing all but two minutes. His performance not only helped Dallas even the NBA Finals at 2-2, but it inspired his teammates. From Eddie Sefko in the Dallas Morning News:

Mavericks officials were calling Nowitzki’s play — 21 points and 11 rebounds in 39 minutes — heroic. After the game, he could barely speak without coughing or sniffling.

"This is the Finals," Nowitzki said. "You’re going to leave it out there."

NBA lore is well-stocked with legends of players succeeding in the most difficult circumstances; the name "Willis Reed" calls up a very specific limp to the court, and "Flu Game" is a two-word essay on toughness all of its own. Dirk enters that pantheon -- maybe on a lower rung -- after Game 4.

For more on Nowitzki and the Mavericks, visit Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.