DALLAS - Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, and the Dallas Mavericks are going back to the NBA Finals.
Nowitzki swished a go-ahead three-pointer with 1 minute, 14 seconds left and Shawn Marion followed with a three-point play off a steal, the pivotal plays in yet another fourth-quarter comeback, this one sending the Mavericks to a 100-96 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night that closed out the Western Conference finals in five games.
After clawing back from 15 down with 5:04 left in Game 4, the Mavericks were down by six with 4:37 left in this one when they rallied again, outscoring the Thunder, 14-4, the rest of the way.
Dallas has never won a championship, and neither has any of its players. Nowitzki and Jason Terry were part of the only Mavericks team to make the Finals, in 2006. They were up two games to none and leading late in Game 3, but lost the series to the Miami Heat in six games.
Lakers tap new coach
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Lakers have reached an agreement in principle with former Cleveland coach Mike Brown to succeed Phil Jackson, the team said Wednesday.
"We've met with Mike and are very impressed with him," said a statement issued by the Lakers. "In addition, we have an outline for an agreement in place and hope to sign a contract within the next few days."
Brown will get a four-year deal worth roughly $18 million, a person with knowledge of the discussions told the Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the Lakers hadn't yet formally hired Brown.
With a strong interview last weekend, Brown jumped to the front of the line of candidates for the daunting challenge of succeeding the 11-time NBA champion Jackson with one of the NBA's iconic franchises. Brown will be the 22d coach of the Lakers, whose 16 NBA titles trail only the Boston Celtics' 17 in league history.
Rather than promoting one of Jackson's assistant coaches, the Lakers are changing course after an abrupt end to their two-year title reign and the long-anticipated departure of Jackson, the coach with the most championship rings in NBA history.
A concerned Heat
MIAMI - Mike Miller is heading to Chicago with concerns about his new daughter's health.
Miller and his wife welcomed a new daughter named Jaelyn last week, who has remained in the pediatric intensive care unit of a South Florida hospital. Miller says her condition is improving, and he plans to be with the Miami Heat when they visit the Chicago Bulls in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday night.
The Heat lead the series three games to one.
Miller came up huge for the Heat in Game 4, scoring 12 points off the bench. After the game, he returned to the hospital, staying there until 4 a.m. to be with his wife and daughter.
Bulls' Asik is finished
DEERFIELD, Ill. - Chicago Bulls backup center Omer Asik will miss the rest of the season because of a broken left fibula.
Asik was injured in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals at Miami. The team says an MRI and CT scan taken before Game 4 on Tuesday confirmed the injury. He tried to play anyway, but lasted just two minutes.
The Bulls say the injury will not require surgery and that the recovery time is about six weeks.
A rookie, Asik averaged 2.8 points and 3.7 rebounds during the regular season and appeared in 15 playoff games.
'Hot Rod' arrested
GONZALES, La. - Police in Louisiana have arrested former NBA player John "Hot Rod" Williams on a misdemeanor count related to gunshots fired during a party at his home.
Gonzales police told The Advocate of Baton Rouge that Williams and his relatives told officers about eight shots were fired by an unknown person attending Saturday's party put on for members of Williams' family.