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Hot tea for Jason Terry? Whatever works

6/10/2011

DALLAS -- As Jason Terry left the postgame interview room he walked through the concourse sipping a hot cup of tea.

First, Dirk Nowitzki admits he went home after his fever-ridden Game 4 heroics and embraced a steaming bowl of soup, and now Jet's sipping tea?

"I'm trying to get rid of this sore throat," Terry said through a smile.

It certainly didn't affect his play in Game 5. Terry, who continually preached that the Mavs would stop missing all those shots they typically make (they did, hitting 56.5 percent from the floor and 13-of-19 -- 68.4 on 3s) and that he would re-discover his stroke (he did, making 8-of-12 shots and 3-of-5 on 3s), has again become a major fourth-quarter threat.

"We are getting the same looks we knew we would get," Terry said. "After Games 1 and 2, you watch it on film, you see it and then you realize where you're going to have the opportunities. I said to myself, I said to my teammates, we're not going to continue to miss those open shots that we're getting. And so, again, being confident, preparing, getting extra shots in in those spots is what allow you to go out in the game.

"And when you get those opportunities, knock them down."

During the regular season, Terry and Nowitzki ranked at the top of the league with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James as the best finishers.

Through five games and with the Mavs one win away from the franchise's first championship, the fourth quarter is no contest. Nowitzki has been magnificent throughout and Terry has returned to the party with a vengeance, attacking James and making him pay. Terry scored eight points in each of the last two fourth quarters, outscoring James, 16-2.

"He made big shots. He made some great 3-point shots, a hand contested in his face, some of them were open," James said. "He's just aggressive. We always said when he plays well they're very tough to beat. That's what he's one the last two games."

In the first three games, Terry did not score with the 6-foot-8 James guarding him. Terry admitted the Heat caught the Mavs off-guard when James took Terry in the fourth quarter of Game 1. Terry vowed he would make the adjustment and he has by putting the ball on the floor and forcing to James to bounce of multiple pick-setters.

In the last two fourth quarters, Terry is 5-of-10 from the floor and 2-of-4 from downtown. Both long balls came in the final 3:18 of a 17-4 Mavs run. He hit one from straightaway and then a 26-footer from the wing that turned up the volume to an all-time high in the American Airlines Center.

"Preparation for me. It's something I do at the end of my workouts," Terry said, referencing extra 3-point shooting. "Get into my rhythm. If there's space I'm going to let it fly."

And now they're landing on target.