Following a 16-5 run that gave them a four-point lead with under five minutes remaining it appeared that the Miami Heat would be heading back to South Beach with a commanding 3-2 series edge.
However, as they have shown time and again this postseason the Dallas Mavericks refused to quit and they finished Game 5 on a 17-4 run to push the Heat to the brink of elimination.
It was all about execution down the stretch as the Heat turned the ball over three times on their final 10 possessions while going 1-for-6 from the field. The Mavericks were 4-for-6 down the stretch and made each of their last three 3-point field goal attempts as part of the game-ending run. In each of their three wins this series the Mavericks have overcome a late fourth quarter deficit.
Final 10 Possessions of Game 5
After enduring an offensive struggle in the first four games of the series -- the teams combined to average 88.4 points per game on 42.1 field goal shooting entering Game 5 -- both squads shot over 50 percent from the field and eclipsed the 100-point mark in the NBA Finals for the first time this series.
The difference though was behind the arc as the Mavericks made 13 3-point field goals, tied for the second-most all-time in an NBA Finals game, doing so on just 19 attempts.
The 68.4 percent shooting from 3-point range was the third-highest in an NBA Finals game over the last 20 postseasons in which a team attempted at least 15 3-point field goals.
The Mavericks also won despite being outrebounded by 10. They are the first team since the 1998 Chicago Bulls to win an NBA Finals game despite allowing an opponent to shoot at least 50 percent from the field and have a -10 rebounding margin.
Dirk Nowitzki was stellar again leading the Mavericks with 29 points and Dallas' supporting cast came up huge, especially its guards.
Jason Terry (21 points), JJ Barea (17) and Jason Kidd (13) each set series highs in points. According to Elias the trio of guards became the first set of teammates to each have 10 points, five assists and three 3-pointers in an NBA Finals game.
Jason Terry Guarded By LeBron James
2011 NBA Finals
Terry in particular was huge in the fourth quarter as all eight of his points in the final frame came in the last 3:23 of the game. After getting called out following Game 3 for struggling in the fourth quarter, in part due to being defended by Lebron James, Terry has outscored James 16-2 in the fourth quarter of Games 4-5. Overall he scored eight points when guarded by James in Game 5, including making two key 3-pointers down the stretch.
Speaking of James, he rebounded off his playoff-low eight-point performance in Game 4 to notch his first career triple-double in an NBA Finals game, becoming the fifth player in the last 25 seasons to record a triple-double in the NBA Finals and lose.
A main reason the Heat lost Game 5 was they were at their worst when the 'Big Three' were on the court together. When James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade were on the floor at the same time, Miami was outscored by 14 points.