Rapid Reaction: Mavericks 86, Heat 83
June, 7, 2011
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com
How it happened: The injury-ravaged, ill Dallas Mavericks might have played the best defensive quarter in franchise playoff history.
The Mavs held the Heat to 14 points in the fourth quarter to pull off their second stunning comeback of these Finals, evening the series at two games apiece. Five Miami turnovers fueled a 17-4 run that gave the Mavericks the lead for good.
Miami’s Dwyane Wade, the man who has haunted Dallas fans for five years, missed a potential tying free throw with 29.3 seconds remaining.
Dirk Nowitzki, who struggled most of the night while battling a triple-digit temperature, responded by driving right past Udonis Haslem for a layup to give the Mavs a little breathing room.
The Heat still had a chance to send the game into overtime on the final possession. However, Wade mishandled the inbounds pass with 6.7 seconds remaining and Mike Miller heaved an airball at the buzzer.
What it means: The series will head back to South Beach. It’s just a matter of which team will have a chance to slam the door in Game 6.
Play of the game: Tyson Chandler comes up with a loose ball and gets the rock to DeShawn Stevenson, who delivered a sweet three-quarters-court skip pass to Jason Terry for the go-ahead layup with 5:11 remaining.
Stat of the night: LeBron James' teams are 0-7 when he scores 15 or fewer points in a playoff game in his career. He finished with only eight in this loss.