How it happened: Call it dominant defense by Miami or miserable offense by Dallas.
The Mavericks simply didn’t score enough points to give themselves a decent chance to extend a five-game playoff road winning streak.
It wasn’t exactly a pretty offensive performance by the Heat, either. But Miami's stars provided enough firepower to pull out an ugly win. LeBron James (24 points), Dwyane Wade (22 points) and Chris Bosh (19 points) accounted for 71 percent of the Heat's scoring.
Dirk Nowitzki had 10 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter, but he didn't get nearly enough help in the Mavs' second-lowest scoring game of the postseason.
The Mavs, whose beautiful ball movement and magnificent marksmanship keyed their march through the West, had a horrible shooting night. Dallas was 25-of-67 from the floor.
The Mavs' bench, the highest-scoring second unit in the league, was especially bad. Dallas' reserves were 4-of-22 from the floor and didn't make a field goal in the second half.
What it means: The heavily favored Heat increased their odds of winning the franchise’s second title. The winner of Game 1 has won the Finals 73.4 percent of the time, including 10 of the past 12 seasons.
Play of the game: The dagger came on a vicious dunk by James. He crossed over Shawn Marion on the left wing to get in the lane and soared for a tomahawk slam despite being fouled. Mavs big man Tyson Chandler didn’t even try to challenge James at the rim, stepping out of the way after LeBron took off.
Stat of the night: The Heat have won each of their first nine home games in these playoffs, allowing fewer than 95 points in each game. According to Elias Sports Bureau, only three other teams in NBA history won at least their first nine home postseason games while allowing fewer than 95 points in each game: Chicago in 1996 (first 10), the Lakers in 2004 (nine) and Boston in 2008 (nine).