Finals now and then: Mavericks vs. Heat

May, 27, 2011
5/27/11
12:02
PM CT


2011 NBA Finals - Mavericks vs. Heat

The Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat will meet in a best-of-seven series in the 2011 NBA Finals. This is the second finals appearance for each team, having faced each other in the 2006 NBA Finals, a series won 4-2 by the Heat.

The Heat have homecourt advantage for the 2011 NBA Finals, by virtue of a better regular-season record. The Mavericks won the two regular season meetings between the teams, 106-95 on Nov. 27 in Miami and 98-96 on Dec. 20 in Dallas.

Road to the 2011 NBA Finals

Team Mavericks Heat
Regular Season 57-25, 2nd in Southwest Division 58-24, 1st in Southeast Division
First Round Def. (6) Portland Trail Blazers, 4-2 Def. (7) Philadelphia 76ers, 4-1
Conference Semifinals Def. (2) Los Angeles Lakers, 4-0 Def. (3) Boston Celtics, 4-1
Conference Finals Def. (4) Oklahoma City Thunder, 4-1 Def. (1) Chicago Bulls, 4-1

2006 NBA Finals - Heat 4, Mavericks 2

The Miami Heat defeated the Dallas Mavericks four games to two in the best-of-seven NBA Finals series to conclude the 2005-06 NBA season. The victory gave Miami its first NBA Championship, but it was the fifth coaching title for Pat Riley.

Neither the Heat nor the Mavericks had appeared in an NBA Finals series before this season. This was the first NBA Finals series in which both teams were making their first Finals appearance since 1971, when the Bucks defeated the Bullets. The Mavericks had home-court advantage in the 2006 NBA Finals, by virtue of their better regular-season record. The Mavericks also won both regular-season meetings with the Heat.

The Mavericks took a 2-0 series lead, before losing the next four games consecutively. Miami became just the third team in NBA history to win the Finals after trailing 2-0. The Heat also became just the eighth different franchise to win the NBA title since 1980.

Dwyane Wade won NBA Finals MVP honors, becoming the fifth-youngest player to win the award. Wade also became the first of Shaquille O'Neal's teammates to win Finals MVP. O'Neal won the award in each of his previous three NBA Finals victories.

Road to the 2006 NBA Finals

Team Heat Mavericks
Regular Season 52-30, 1st in Southeast Division 60-22, 2nd in Southwest Division
First Round Def. (7) Chicago Bulls, 4-2 Def. (5) Memphis Grizzlies, 4-0
Conference Semifinals Def. (3) New Jersey Nets, 4-1 Def. (1) San Antonio Spurs, 4-3
Conference Finals Def. (1) Detroit Pistons, 4-2 Def. (2) Phoenix Suns, 4-2

PODCAST
Mavs' GM Donnie Nelson dishes on how the team he built made it to the NBA Finals.

Part I Listen   Part II Listen

Game 1 - Mavericks 90, Heat 80

The Heat led 31-23 at the end of the first quarter but scored just 13 points in the second quarter and were outscored 20-12 in the fourth quarter as the Mavericks took a 1-0 series lead. Jason Terry led all scorers with 32 points on 13-of-18 shooting. 20 of Terry's 32 points came in the first half, helping the Mavericks overcome the early deficit.

Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 28 points, going 11-of-25 from the field and 6-of-10 from the free-throw line. Miami's other big star, Shaquille O'Neal, went 8-of-11 from the field, but missed his first eight official free throw attempts (he also had two misses wiped out by lane violations) before making one with 55 seconds left. Miami's combined 7-of-19 free throw shooting was the worst ever by a team in the NBA Finals.

Dallas held Miami to just 12 points in the fourth quarter. It was tied for the second-fewest points ever scored by a team in the fourth quarter of an NBA Finals game in the shot-clock era. Only the 1998 Jazz, who scored nine points in the fourth quarter of Game 3, had fewer.

Game 2 - Mavericks 99, Heat 85

After a tightly contested first quarter, the Mavericks outscored the Heat 32-17 in the second quarter, thanks to a 10-0 run to end the first half. Jerry Stackhouse scored all 10 points in the run, the longest streak of points by a single player in an NBA Finals game since Isiah Thomas scored 10 straight points in Game 1 of the 1990 Finals for the Pistons against the Trail Blazers. Dirk Nowitzki led all players with 26 points and 16 rebounds, while Stackhouse finished with 19 off the bench for the Mavericks.

Heat center Shaquille O'Neal finished with just five points in 28 minutes of action, the lowest point total in a single game in his postseason career. Before this game, O'Neal had been held to single-digit points just twice in a playoff game. After the game, O'Neal refused to speak to reporters, resulting in a $10,000 fine for O'Neal and a $25,000 fine for the Heat. Dwyane Wade scored 23 points to lead the Heat. Antoine Walker added 20 points for Miami, many of those coming during a fourth-quarter run that cut Dallas' lead to 12 points.

Game 3 - Heat 98, Mavericks 96

After outscoring the Heat 34-16 in the third quarter, the Mavericks appeared on their way to taking a 3-0 series lead. In the fourth quarter, the Heat responded by outscoring the Mavericks 30-19, and Gary Payton made his first basket of the series with 9.3 seconds left in the game, giving Miami its first win of the series. Dwyane Wade scored 42 points for the Heat, leading all scorers.

Miami trailed by 13 points with 6:30 remaining in the fourth quarter but came from behind to win. The Heat were the first team to win an NBA Finals game in which they trailed by at least 13 points during the fourth quarter since the 1992 Bulls in Game 6 against the Trail Blazers.

In a role reversal, Wade led Miami in rebounding with 13, while Shaquille O'Neal led the Heat in assists with five. It was the 16th time in his career that O'Neal led his team in assists in a playoff game, but his first with the Heat. O'Neal also made four of his six free-throw attempts after struggling from the line in Games 1 and 2. This was Miami's first win against Dallas since the 2003-04 season.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 30 points to lead the Mavericks but missed a potential game-tying free throw with 3 seconds left. Nowitzki also turned the ball over on the Mavericks' final possession, after Wade had made one of two free throws to extend Miami's lead back to 2.

Game 4 - Heat 98, Mavericks 76

Dwyane Wade scored 36 points, Shaquille O'Neal added 17 points and 13 rebounds, and the Heat held the Mavericks to a record-low seven points in the fourth quarter to tie the series at two games apiece. Wade scored 24 of his 36 points in the first half to help Miami take a 10-point halftime lead. The Mavericks stayed close in the third quarter, but never seriously challenged the Heat's lead.

The seven points scored by Dallas were the fewest in any single quarter in the NBA Finals in the shot-clock era. Two teams, the 1998 Jazz and the 2003 Nets, had scored nine points in a quarter, and both went on to lose the series. Jason Terry led the Mavericks with 17 points, while Dirk Nowitzki was held to 16 points on 2-of-14 shooting. As a team, the Mavericks shot 31.6 percent from the field.

Jerry Stackhouse matched Nowitzki with 16 points off the bench but was called for a flagrant foul on Shaquille O'Neal in the third quarter. The call during the game was a flagrant 1, which did not result in an automatic ejection for Stackhouse. However, he was suspended for Game 5.

Game 5 - Heat 101, Mavericks 100 (OT)

Dwyane Wade scored 43 points for the Heat, 21 of them coming from the free-throw line. Wade made two free throws with 1.9 seconds left, giving the Heat the 1-point win and their first lead in the series. Wade attempted 25 free throws in the game -- the same number as the entire Mavericks team -- and his 21 free throws made were a record for an NBA Finals game. The Heat became just the second home team to win the middle three games of the NBA Finals in the 2-3-2 format, joining the 2004 Pistons.

Wade's 43 points gave him 172 for the series. That was the third-most for any player through the first five games of his NBA Finals career. In 1967, Rick Barry scored 201 points for the Warriors against the 76ers in the first five games, and in 2001, Allen Iverson scored 178 points in a five-game-series loss to the Lakers. Wade was the only Heat player with at least 20 points. Shaquille O'Neal was Miami's second-leading scorer with 18 points, despite shooting just 2-of-12 from the free throw line. Miami attempted 49 free throws to Dallas' 25.

Jason Terry led Dallas with 35 points. Terry, Josh Howard and Dirk Nowitzki each scored at least 20 points, but they were the Mavericks only players in double-figures. Without Jerry Stackhouse, the Mavericks' bench combined for just 12 points.

In addition to the free-throw disparity, the game was marked by a controversy in the final seconds, when Howard called a timeout between Wade's first and second free-throw attempts. Mavericks coach Avery Johnson tried to signal to the officials that he didn't want a timeout, but the officials indicated that Howard had called for it. After the game, Howard said he was only signaling to his coach to verify he wanted a timeout called after the second free throw, but crew chief Joe Crawford said Howard had made eye contact with official Joe DeRosa and asked for the timeout twice.

After the game, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was highly critical of the officials and was fined $250,000. In addition, Dirk Nowitzki was fined $25,000 for kicking a ball into the stands.

Game 6 - Heat 95, Mavericks 92

Dwyane Wade scored a game-high 36 points to lead the Heat to their fourth consecutive win and first NBA Championship. Wade was 10-of-18 from the field and 16-of-21 from the free-throw line. By comparison, the Mavericks attempted 23 free throws as a team. Shaquille O'Neal was held to 9 points but led Miami with 12 rebounds. He was one of four Heat starters with at least 10 rebounds, including Wade, who also had five assists, four steals and three blocks.

Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 29 points, while Jason Terry had 16 points. Terry was just 2-of-11 from 3-point range and missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer. Jerry Stackhouse, returning from his one-game suspension, scored 12 points, equaling the Mavericks' bench total from the previous game.

Wade finished the series with 208 points, the second-most ever for a player in his first six NBA Finals games. He also became just the fifth player to have at least 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a Finals-clinching game, joining Hakeem Olajuwon (1995 Rockets), James Worthy (1988 Lakers), Magic Johnson (1980 Lakers) and John Havlicek (1968 Celtics). He was the first player with at least three blocks and three steals in a Finals clincher, though neither stat was kept officially until the 1974 Finals.

The win gave Pat Riley his fifth NBA title as a coach, tied with John Kundla for the third most in NBA history, behind Phil Jackson and Red Auerbach. The 18-year span between his fourth and fifth titles was the most ever for a coach in NBA history. Riley, who took over the Heat from Stan Van Gundy during the season, joined himself in 1982 and Paul Westhead (1980) as the only midseason replacement coaches to win an NBA title. He also joined Phil Jackson and Alex Hannum as the only coaches to win titles with multiple teams.

Longtime Heat star Alonzo Mourning, reduced to a reserve role late in his career, had five blocks in Game 6, tying an NBA record for the most blocks by a reserve in an NBA Finals Game. He also earned his first championship in his 13th NBA season. Only his 2006 teammate Gary Payton (16th season) and 2003 Spurs player Kevin Willis (19th season) went longer before winning a title.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Marion 6.5
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9