Heat respond to Mavs' trash talk
DALLAS -- It's been awhile since the Miami Heat had heard some public trash talk. So when some Dallas Mavericks gave them a variety of bulletin board material heading into Tuesday night's Game 4 of the NBA Finals it made an impression in the Heat locker room.
"We saw it," LeBron James said Tuesday. "We watch 'SportsCenter'."
It's motivation. For us, it is an opportunity to not let up. Guys are talking and it fuels you.” -- Chris Bosh on the Mavs' trash talk
"You have to let sleeping dogs lie sometimes," Chris Bosh said. "It's motivation. For us, it is an opportunity to not let up. Guys are talking and it fuels you."
After falling behind 2-1 in the series, Mavs guard DeShawn Stevenson said James and Dwyane Wade were "great actors" when trying to get fouls called. Jason Terry said that the Heat, who are holding the Mavs to 42 percent shooting and just 88 points per game so far, aren't the best defense Dallas has seen in the postseason.
But the nugget that seemed to most get under the Heat's skin was that James, who has played stretches of successful defense against Terry in the fourth quarters, would be wearing down.
"We're going to see if (LeBron) can do it for seven games," Terry said Monday. "That's going to be the challenge. Right now, it's Game 4. Can he do it again in Game 4? He wasn't able to do it in Game 2. He did it in Games 1 and 3, so Game 4 is another opportunity."
Heat players responded to that after their shootaround.
"If he wants LeBron to turn it up then that's great motivation for LeBron," Bosh said. "Guys remember that when we're out on the floor. LeBron is going to remember that late in the game when it is close and Terry is going to try to get going. LeBron is going to guard him and we'll see who comes out on top."
Terry hit a couple key shots in the fourth quarter of Game 2 as part of the Mavs' fourth-quarter rally. In Games 1 and 3, James helped hold Terry scoreless in the fourth quarters.
"LeBron is 26 years old, he's not going to wear down," Wade said. "Obviously, Jason Terry is a great scorer. In the fourth quarter, LeBron's job is to make it tough on him. When you see a guy who is 6-8 and just as fast and more athletic than a lot of guys it is tough. He's not going to wear down and he's going to look forward to the challenge."
James, who has avoided taking the bait from the media's questions during the series, took the high road again on Tuesday.
"Those guys have a right to say what they want to say," James said. "For me and D-Wade, we're going to let our game do the talking. Those guys have the right to say what they want to say."
Brian Windhorst covers the Heat for ESPN.com.
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