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Thursday, June 9, 2011
Dirk Nowitzki leads Mavs to 60-57 lead at half

By Jeff Caplan



DALLAS -- Jason Terry was right: The Dallas Mavericks have busted out of their shooting slump, hitting for 65.7 percent in the first half. Problem is the Heat are shooting 51.3 percent and creaming the Mavs on the boards.

So much has seemed to go right for the Mavs and so wrong for the Heat. Yet at the half, Dallas holds just a 60-57 lead.

Give Mario Chalmers credit. He has 13 points off the bench and is 4-of-6 from 3-point range. Chris Bosh has 13 points, Dwyane Wade has 11 -- and appears OK after leaving briefly with a hip contusion -- and LeBron James has just nine points, still not looking like the confident, aggressive player that is the King.

Dirk Nowitzki leads Dallas with 16 points, 10 in the second quarter. Tyson Chandler is having another strong game with 11 points, but he has just three rebounds -- an area that will have to pick up in the second half. Jason Terry also played a nice half with nine points on 4-of-6 shooting, including a pretty baseline jumper over James late in the first half.

The Mavs would prefer a bigger lead, but they have to like their positioning with 24 minutes left to play in the final game of the series and season at American Airlines Center.