The Mavs are 29-12 in regular-season games decided by three points or fewer under coach Rick Carlisle.

Dallas is just getting it done in the playoffs this year, a welcome change from their recent run of postseason disappointments. And they're closing at a completely different level of efficiency.

In the final five minutes when the score is within five points in these playoffs, the Mavs have been more than twice as good as their opponents. Per 100 possessions, Dallas averaged 148.5 points and allowed only 71.7 in such situations.

That success starts with Nowitzki. He has averaged an NBA-best 9.7 points during fourth quarters this postseason.