Jason Kidd: The Other Game 4 Hero for Dallas

by May 24, 2011

Dirk rightfully grabbed most of the headlines following his heroics last night, but the Mavs wouldn’t be on the verge of earning a trip to the NBA Finals without Jason Kidd’s play on both ends of the floor in Game 4. From ESPN: “He finished with 17 points, his third consecutive double-figure game and his seventh of the postseason. He added seven assists, five rebounds and four more steals — giving him a playoff-high 32 — in 41 minutes, his longest night of work in these playoffs. No sequence epitomized Kidd’s overall contribution to this run more than the 35 seconds or so late in overtime. Kidd manned up on Durant. The game was tied 105-105 with less than 90 seconds to go. Kidd forced Durant right, caught him with nowhere to go and stripped the ball away. Headed back the other way, Nowitzki had the ball at the elbow. Russell Westbrook, Kidd’s 22-year-old point guard counterpart, acted as though he was coming to double, and Nowitzki dished it to Kidd. Kidd pump-faked Westbrook out of the play, got his feet situated behind the arc and let it fly. It swished through the net and instantly deflated the crowd. ‘Dirk has a little trust in me and I thought they were going to go double on us, so my job is to be able to knock down that shot,’ Kidd said. ‘They kind of went to him late so Westbrook could contest my 3. I thought about jumping into him, but I just reloaded and shot it.’ The shot induced flashbacks of the Mavs’ improbable win at Boston in early February when Nowitzki found Kidd for the game-winning 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds to go. ‘Really, I mean, I’m proud of Jason Kidd,’ Nowitzki said. ‘I mean, the way he battles on defense, the floor game he leads for us every night, the steals he gets and the huge 3 in overtime to put us over the top and put us up by three. I tip my hat to him every night, the way he competes.'”