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Heart-healthy at last

"Welcome back, Dirk," said TXA21 play-by-play dude Mark Folowill.

"Welcome to the playoffs big-time for Dirk Nowitzki," TNT analyst Kenny Smith added a few minutes later.

Simple as that, really. Finally!!! He shoots instead of watches.

Latenight drama, real or fictional, doesn't get any more compelling than the Dallas Mavericks' Invisible Man pulling himself and his team out of a crypt with a pair of three-pointers and 12 of his team's last 15 points. Add a key blocked shot as well. In the game's final three-and-a-half minutes, Nowitzki almost singlehandedly turned a 112-103 deficit into a 118-112 Mavericks victory over Golden State in Tuesday's Game 5 of the NBA playoffs. Finally the Warriors blew one by going scoreless down the stretch.

D-FW's 10 p.m. May sweeps newscasts now might as well go dark opposite Thursday night's Game 6. The combined TXA21/TNT Nielsen numbers for Tuesday's return from the dead no doubt will surpass Sunday night's 463,018 homes, the series biggest haul to date. But Game 6 will really be a whopper. Unless, of course, one of the four stations wants to do their newscast in the nude.

Maybe, just maybe, the Warriors are now exposed.

"Golden State could taste this thing," TNT's Smith said. Instead they choked after overcoming a 21-point deficit on the Mavs' home floor before a crowd that was looking like a still-life painting.

Maybe Nowitzki no longer is a dead Mav walking. For now he's saved himself and his team from one of the longest off-seasons in pro sports history. But those Warrior fans are going to be super-crazed Thursday night.

Man, what drama. Beats the hell out of even The Sopranos. Who's gonna get whacked?