After a five year absence, the Dallas Mavericks are going back to the NBA Finals. For the second time in franchise history, the Mavs are Western Conference champs after defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 by the score of 100-96. They now await the winner of the Miami vs. Chicago series.

The Mavericks have only lost 3 games this postseason. In round 1, they defeated the Blazers 4-2. In round 2, it was an impressive 4-0 sweep of the Lakers. Last night, the Mavs wrapped up round 3, defeating the Thunder in 5 games. In game 5, it was the usual dose of Dirk Nowitzki. Here is more from the AP and

After all the incredible shots Dirk Nowitzki has hit this postseason, it was his vintage stuff -- a straightaway 3-pointer and a pair of free throws -- that put the Dallas Mavericks back in the NBA Finals.

Nowitzki continued a tremendous roll for him and the Mavs by capping yet another fourth-quarter comeback with a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:14 left, sending the Mavericks to a 100-96 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night that closed out the Western Conference finals in five games.

Dallas Wins The Western Conference

While the Mavericks have three players with finals experience (Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Jason Kidd), no member of the Mavs has won an NBA championship. Dallas lost to Miami in the 2006 NBA finals. They may get another shot at the Heat once again. Miami leads Chicago 3-1 in the ECF, with Game 5 in Chicago taking place tonight.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was smiling from ear to ear as he held the Western Conference trophy during postgame. However, he had only one thing to say,  ""All I can tell everybody is, we ain't done yet!"

 The NBA finals begin June 2nd.