In the grips of a 101-degree fever, the Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki still managed a team-high 21 points on 6-for-19 shooting on Tuesday night on the way to helping his team to a crucial, series-tying Game 4 victory, 86-83, over the Miami Heat.
It wasn’t pretty, but it was obviously huge in terms of the series outlook. No team has ever overcome a 3-1 series deficit in the NBA Finals, meaning that, with Tuesday’s fourth quarter comeback, the team dodged a large bullet.
Afterward, Nowitzki discussed the fever that seemed to slow him down somewhat in the Game 4 victory.
"I didn't really have a good night's rest, so it was just under the weather a little bit," Nowitzki said, per USA Today. "It didn't look good there in the fourth quarter when we were down nine, but the energy and defense really picked us up."
Nowitzki expects to be well by the time Game 5 tips off on Thursday night.
"There's no long-term. I'll be all right on Thursday. It's a little sinus infection," he said. "This is the finals. You're going to leave it out there."