Dirk Nowitzki scored 40 points, Jason Kidd hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 40 seconds left in overtime and the visiting Dallas Mavericks overcame a 15-point deficit in the final 5 minutes of regulation to stun the Oklahoma City Thunder, 112-105, last night and take a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference finals.

Dallas didn't lead until Nowitzki hit two free throws 16 seconds into overtime, needing to rally from a 99-84 deficit in the final 5 minutes of regulation. The Mavericks never let the Thunder - which was one win shy of tying an NBA record with eight OT wins in the regular season - go ahead in the extra period.

Kevin Durant missed a three-pointer on Oklahoma City's opening possession of overtime, then didn't get another shot until he missed a three off the front rim in the final 10 seconds with the Thunder down by five.

Durant finished with 29 points and 15 rebounds, and Serge Ibaka had 18 points and 10 boards for Oklahoma City. Russell Westbrook added 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

Game 5 is tomorrow night in Dallas.

The Mavs handed Oklahoma City its first consecutive losses of the postseason and first back-to-back home losses in 6 months.

"We worked really hard these two games to win, and none of that guarantees anything for Game 5. We know that," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "All of us involved with this team have been through a lot of these wars. We understand our position that we're in. We respect it. We're very humble about it.

"We've got to get ourselves revved up and ready for Wednesday, because that's an opportunity."

Only two teams have come back from 3-1 deficits in NBA history without the benefit of homecourt advantage in Game 7 - Houston in the 1995 West semifinals and Boston in the 1968 East finals.

"There's no doubt it was a tough loss," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "If this loss did not hurt, there's no such thing as a loss that can hurt you."

Durant had nine of the Thunder's 26 turnovers, including the one that led to the big shot by the 38-year-old Kidd.

Kidd stripped him as he went up for a shot with just over a minute left in overtime, then took a pass from Nowitzki, pump-faked to get Westbrook in the air and stepped up and drilled a three-pointer to put Dallas up 108-105 with 40.3 seconds left.

"Everybody asks questions about the age and all that other stuff, but the thing I'd say to anybody is, 'Never underestimate greatness,' " Carlisle said.

Westbrook missed on a drive on Oklahoma City's next possession, and Jason Terry hit two free throws with 13 seconds left to give the Mavs a two-possession lead. Durant finally got another shot off, squatting with his head hanging down as Kidd walked up for two free throws to provide the final margin.

"We kept believing," Nowitzki said. "I think finally we got some rebounds. I think that was killing us all night long. We got second-chance points, tipouts. In the last couple minutes we got great stops, finally got some rebounds, and it really helped us [with] our flow. They couldn't really guard us off the transition and we needed to get some stops and that was big down the stretch."

Terry finished with 20 points for Dallas and Kidd scored 17 to go with seven assists, five rebounds and four steals.


* Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah was fined $50,000 for directing an anti-gay slur at a fan during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals in Miami. The NBA released its decision hours after speaking with Noah, saying the fine was "for using a derogatory and offensive term from the bench." After meeting with NBA officials, Noah said he was prepared to "pay the price" for what happened when he returned to the bench with two fouls midway through the first quarter of Sunday's game.

* The Portland Trail Blazers abruptly dismissed general manager Rich Cho after less than a year on the job. Chad Buchanan, the team's director of college scouting, will serve as acting GM.