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12 seconds of pure, tireless Wes Matthews saved the Mavericks' Game 2 upset

Steven Adams' juuust-too-late tip-in and the clutch (and un-clutch) Raymond Felton plays before it defined the conclusion of the Mavericks' Game 2 upset win in Oklahoma City. Amid all that mayhem, one particularly chaotic sequence stood out to me:

That is Wes Matthews. That is all Wes Matthews for 12 seconds. That could not be more Wes Matthews. If you're not familiar with the man, the basics are: The same year Matthews went undrafted out of Marquette, he played his way from Summer League to the Utah Jazz roster to the starting lineup. From Utah to Portland, Matthews played every single game for his first three seasons, earning a reputation for shooting, voracious defense and utter disregard for pain. He signed with the Mavs while recovering from last year's Achilles rupture, then played a nearly full season, even through some terrifying moments.

In summary: Wes Matthews just keeps going. He embodies every stereotype of "grit," which is to say he's a little nuts. This is a dude who fought his way into the league, has bounced back from the grimmest of mishaps, and still throws his body at every available melee. In an otherwise substandard season for Matthews, that quality hasn't wavered: Matthews is very smart, yet very pain-tolerant and very reckless in pursuit of basketballs. Wes craves basketballs and will risk life and limb to devour them.

So, back to the play above. Here's what happens:

1. Matthews, who had been guarding Kevin Durant (7-for-33 from the field!) splendidly all night, tails Durant through one screen, then gets rocked by a Steven Adams shoulder check:


2. Rendered prostrate for Durant's first attempt, Matthews scrambles to his feet when it misses and closes out perfectly on Durant's second attempt:


3. As Durant -- who's like five inches taller -- collects what appears to be another rebound, Matthews chugs into the picture and snatches away the carom:


4.  ... then barrels full-speed into a contested layup over Adams, who just kinda tried to murder him:


5. Oh, and Dion Waiters falls perilously toward Wes' legs as he's landing, but Matthews just clears him with a well-timed Ollie:


Durant would immediately come the other way and drill a three to cut the Mavs' lead to one before Felton and Adams decided (or neglected to decide) the game, so that Matthews play -- to contest a shot, wrest a possession away, then go coast-to-coast -- made the difference.

No amount of injury can stop Wes Matthews from traveling the court like a careering cannonball, and in what has been a staunch-but-inefficient first year as a Maverick, it's awesome to see that heedlessness swing a playoff game.