Sunday, June 5, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Heat 88, Mavericks 86
By Tim MacMahon
How it happened: Dirk Nowitzki did everything in the fourth quarter but finish the job.
Nowitzki had 15 of his game-high 34 points in the final frame, but his contested 16-footer at the buzzer bounced high off the back rim and harmlessly off the floor. Nowitzki had a turnover while throwing a wild pass out of a triple-team the previous possession.
Chris Bosh, the other All-Star power forward in these Finals, hit the game-winner. His baseline jumper with 39.6 seconds remaining broke a tie and was the final bucket of the game.
Bosh broke out of a series-long slump to score 11 of his 18 points in the second half. Dwyane Wade continued to torture the Mavs, scoring 29 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
The Mavs almost pulled off another comeback from a double-digit hole. They fell just short -- or, actually, a little bit long -- this time.
What it means: If history holds true, the Mavs are in trouble. Since the Finals went to a 2-3-2 format in 1985, the Game 3 winner after the first two games were split is 11-0 in the series.
Play of the game: Wade stole a pass from Nowitzki, pushed the ball to start the fast break and fed LeBron James for an easy two-hand slam. That was part of a run to push the Heat’s lead back to double digits early in the third quarter.
Stat of the night: Nowitzki became the first player this postseason to have a 30-point game against the Heat. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 1982 76ers are the only other team in NBA history to have a stretch of longer than 17 games in one postseason without allowing a 30-point scorer.