DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki stood on the court wearing a baseball hat celebrating the Dallas Mavericks' return to the NBA finals. As his team received a silver trophy for winning the Western Conference, he looked as if he'd just been named the player of the week in November.

DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki stood on the court wearing a baseball hat celebrating the Dallas Mavericks' return to the NBA finals. As his team received a silver trophy for winning the Western Conference, he looked as if he'd just been named the player of the week in November.

Nowitzki's indifferent attitude during the pandemonium around him shows just how locked in he is right now.

"We've got one of those trophies already," Nowitzki said. "This is nice for a day, but we set our goals in October to win it all. We haven't done it yet."

The superstar who has dominated this postseason added yet another highlight Wednesday night, hitting a straightaway 3-pointer with 1:14 left that put the Mavericks ahead for good on their way to a 100-96 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder that ended the Western Conference finals in five games.

After clawing back from down 15 with 5:06 left in Game 4, the Mavericks were down by six with 4:37 left when they rallied again, outscoring the Thunder 14-4 the rest of the way.

The Mavericks have long been among the NBA's elite, winning 50 games for 11 consecutive seasons. However, it's been a bit hollow because they don't have a title to show for it. They reached the finals in 2006, went up 2-0 and had a big, late lead in Game 3, only to lose to the Miami Heat in six games.

Oklahoma City led for most of this game, even staying ahead during a stretch of 11 straight missed shots. But the Thunder were just too young and too inexperienced to understand how to close out a game.

Westbrook scored 31 points, and Kevin Durant and James Harden each scored 23. The Thunder bowed out with only their second three-game losing streak of the season.

"I just think we played hard and just couldn't come up with the win," Durant said.

Considering its youth and the experience gained in this series, Oklahoma City can expect to close in on many more titles. That was little consolation Wednesday night.

"Their time will come, but it's not now," Carlisle said. "We feel like now is our time to move on."