Dallas wins series 4-2
|Game 1: Tuesday, May 31st|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
|Game 2: Thursday, June 2nd|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
|Game 3: Sunday, June 5th|
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|Game 4: Tuesday, June 7th|
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|Game 5: Thursday, June 9th|
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|Game 6: Sunday, June 12th|
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8:00 PM ET, June 5, 2011
American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
Dirk Nowitzki's late charge comes one shot short as Heat take 2-1 Finals lead
More Heat-Mavs Coverage
More than anything, the Miami Heat's defense did in the Dallas Mavericks in Game 3 on Sunday night, writes Marc Stein. Dime
On the road, with a battered eye, amid one of the coldest shooting stretches he's ever endured, Chris Bosh hit the game-winner on the biggest stage of his career, writes Tom Haberstroh. Blog
• Windhorst: D-Wade is back
• Merrill: Bosh's life and times
The Dallas Mavericks fell behind again, but this time they couldn't overcome their mistakes, writes Jeff Caplan. Story
Dirk Nowitzki was almost perfect in the fourth quarter, but that just wasn't good enough, writes Tim MacMahon. Story
Bosh made a 16-foot, go-ahead jumper from the baseline with 39.6 seconds left and Haslem pestered Dirk Nowitzki the rest of the way as the Heat held on for an 88-86 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night for a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals.
"This is a total win," said Wade, who led Miami with 29 points and 11 rebounds. "You want to win the game on the defensive end of the floor and we got a stop."
Recent history says this is a huge win for the Heat. The Game 3 winner in a tied finals has won the championship all 11 times since the 2-3-2 format began in 1985.
The Heat go into Game 4 on Tuesday night with a chance to do what they did in 2006: win it all on Dallas' floor. They'll need to win that game and the next, on Thursday night.
With all its star power, many expected Miami to be planning a victory parade by now, especially after a solid victory in Game 1. But the Heat blew a 15-point lead in the last quarter of Game 2, and nearly did it again this time, coughing up a 14-point lead.
Miami recovered to lead 81-74 with 6:31 left. Everyone knew Nowitzki would drive Dallas' rally, but it didn't matter. He still scored 12 straight points -- six free throws, a layup, a dunk and a tough jumper -- tying it at 86.
Shawn Marion pestered LeBron James into a 24-second violation that left Wade pounding both fists on his head in frustration. Jason Terry missed a chance to put the Mavericks ahead, then Bosh nailed his clutch jumper from the left side, a huge thrill for the Dallas native who'd been 0-8 in his hometown.
The Mavericks of course went back to Nowitzki on its last two chances, and his streak ran out. He tried passing out of a Haslem-led double team and threw the ball into the stands, then hit the back iron on a jumper over Haslem as time ran out.
Dirk and Not Much Else in Fourth Quarter
Dirk Nowitzki had 15 points in the fourth quarter in Game 3 while the rest of the Mavericks' roster combined for just seven points in the final 12 minutes.
Dallas Mavericks in Fourth Quarter, Game 3
|Nowitzki||Rest of Team|
Haslem anticipated what Nowitzki was going to do and walked the fine line between disrupting the shot while avoiding a foul.
"He's a great player, 7 feet, so he's going to shoot over me," Haslem said. "I've got to make it tough on him."
When the buzzer went off, Haslem swung his arms and screamed in delight while a frenzied crowd of 20,340 sighed in agony.
"It was a good offensive play, and a good defensive play," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "And he happened to miss."
Wade and Bosh each scored seven points in the fourth quarter. Bosh, who played through a a swollen left eyelid caused by a poke during the first quarter, finished with 18 points.
"We'll spit on it and put a Band-Aid on it and patch it up later," Bosh said on his injured eye.
James added 17 points and nine assists. He also had four turnovers, including a pair during the fourth quarter -- not counting the shot-clock violation -- that helped bring Dallas back.
An Inside Job Ignites Heat
Most Field Goals Made Within 5 Feet
Nowitzki scored 15 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter but didn't get much help.
Terry scored 15 and Shawn Marion had 10. Both were shut out in the fourth quarter. The only other scorers were backup point guard J.J. Barea early in the quarter and Tyson Chandler dunking off a rebound.
"We have to have somebody step up besides Dirk," said Jason Kidd, who had nine points and 10 assists, but also four turnovers. Giveaways haunted Dallas throughout the game, especially the first half, helping keep Miami comfortably ahead. "We have to figure out how to get up front and play up front. The big thing is we've got to be able to make plays late in the game. Game 2 we made the plays, Game 3 we just didn't."
Dallas was without backup center Brendan Haywood because of a hip injury. His absence meant more minutes for several frontcourt players, and it put Ian Mahinmi on the court for 8 minutes. He scored two points and committed five fouls.
Wade was at his dynamic best from the start, looking like the guy who soared and scored the Heat past Dallas and to the title in '06.
Most of his baskets came in the paint -- where the Heat outscored the Mavs, 40-22 -- and many of them were spectacular. But he also stemmed Dallas' rally by hitting a go-ahead jumper over Kidd for Miami's second-to-last basket.
James came in talking about being more aggressive, but wasn't. He went more than 6 minutes before taking his first shot, but certainly made it worth the wait -- a drive through the teeth of the defense for a powerful dunk. He also had a two-handed jam in the second half that put Miami up by 13.
The Heat just couldn't put the Mavs away. Dallas would surge close or ahead, then Miami would turn it up again. The final 18 minutes played out with both teams realizing any possession could change the game and the series.
Nothing came easy for anyone. Shots were contested, bodies collided for every rebound and guys were flying into the stands after loose balls. Fans stood throughout, wearing their blue gimme T-shirts and fired up by videos such as one featuring encouraging words from Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Nolan Ryan and others.
Yet it was the visitors from Miami who walked off celebrating.
"Now we just have to move on," Spoelstra said. "The tough part right now is amnesia. Both teams are highly competitive, this is a competitive series as you can see. We have to really gather ourselves in 48 hours and get right back and do this again."
Spoelstra talked about wanting his guys to get back to their identity of being "an aggressive, attacking team that tries to get into the paint, to the rim, to the free throw line." They followed that script to a 14-point lead late in the second quarter, then fell into the same bad habits they showed at the end of Game 2, letting Dallas get within 47-42 at the break.
Maybe Miami players just got bored because things were coming so easily.
James and Wade seemed to get whatever shot they wanted, whenever they wanted. But they kept trying to get others involved. They especially force-fed Bosh, even though his left eye was swollen from an early, accidental poke by Jason Kidd; he missed 7 of 9 in the first half.
The Heat also made things tough on Nowitzki by keeping him from even getting the ball. He took only two shots in the first quarter. He didn't start getting free until Miami's lead grew and guys were less intense on defense.
Dallas fell to 8-2 at home this postseason. ... The Heat and Mavs have each won a road game this series, which should be no surprise. They tied for the best road record in the NBA this season. ... Bosh was booed as much as any Miami player during pregame introductions. So much for fans cutting the local kid some slack. ... The Mavs fell to 2-1 this postseason in games officiated by Dan Crawford. Dallas came into this postseason having lost 16 of its last 17 playoff games he worked. ... Aikman and Terrell Owens sat about 10 seats apart on the same row. Owens attended games in Miami, too. ... Shades of the 2008 NCAA finals: Chalmers beat the first-quarter buzzer with a 3-pointer.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||34-78 (.436)||28-70 (.400)|
|3PM-3PA||8-19 (.421)||8-21 (.381)|
|FTM-FTA||12-15 (.800)||22-27 (.815)|
|Fast Break Points||14||16|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||27 (0/0)||14 (0/0)|
LeBron James is the Darrelle Revis of the NBA. During this NBA Finals vs the Mavericks, James is holding opponents to 9-of-25 shooting (36.0 percent) from the floor when he is the primary defender. He's even better at the end of games as players are shooting 25 percent in the 4th quarter, including Jason Terry who is 0-for-5 from the field in the 4th quarter this series when guarded by LeBron James.[+]
While Dwyane Wade has played well in the 4th Qtr, LeBron James hasn't. In the 3 games combined vs the Mavericks during the NBA Finals, James has 9 points and is 3-for-11 from the field in the 4th quarter.[+]
From Elias: Games 2 and 3 of the NBA Finals were each decided by 2 points. It's the first time since the 1998 NBA Finals that back-to-back finals games have been decided by 2 points or less. In that 1998 Finals, Game 5 was decided by 2 points and Game 6 was a 1-point game as Jordan hit his iconic shot over Bryon Russell. Those two games were the last 2 games Jordan played in a Bulls uniform.
Dwyane Wade was able to work his way towards the basket in Game 3 going 8-11 from within five feet including two dunks. The Mavericks were unable to match Wade as a team as they had one fewer field goal. Wade now has seven dunks in his last two games compared with zero in his previous three.[+]
Wade Goes to Work Inside
Chris Bosh was 5-9 from the field, including the eventual game-winning shot, for 11 points in the 2nd half of Game 3. By comparison, he was just 2-9 from the floor for 7 points in the opening half.
In each of the 1st 2 games of the 2011 NBA Finals, Dirk Nowitzki accounted for better than one-third of Dallas' 4th quarter points. In Game 3, he scored more than TWO-THIRDS of the Mavs' points in the final stanza.[+]
Dirk Nowitzki in 4th Quarter of NBA Finals
ESPN Stats & Information