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Friday, June 10, 2011
Key defensive plays help Mavericks

By Calvin Watkins



DALLAS -- In another tight game, the Mavericks had to come up with some key defensive plays in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

With the Mavericks clinging to a 102-100 lead, forward Tyson Chandler drew a charge on LeBron James with 2:27 to play in the game. A few plays later, Jason Kidd hit a 3-pointer to push the Mavs' lead to five.

"I felt like it was a charge," said Chandler, after scoring 13 points in nearly 40 minutes. "I [had] seen him drive baseline a couple of times in the course of this game and actually in a couple of games now. I’ve been thinking, 'You know if I could get there and set and make him think I’m going to jump I can get a charge.' [It] just so happened to be at a key time."

The other big defensive play down the stretch came courtesy of Shawn Marion.

After Kidd's 3, Marion stole the ball from Dwyane Wade -- one of 16 turnovers by the Heat -- and even though Marion was blocked from behind by James on the other end, getting a defensive stop was big.

"Big steal, [I] thought I got fouled on the break," Marion said with a laugh.

Then Chandler blocked a Wade shot on the ensusing possession with 64 seconds to play.

After Jason Terry tied the game at 100 with a 3-pointer with 3:23 to play, the Mavs' defense held the Heat to 1-of-6 shooting from the field.

"We finally picked it up defensively," Chandler said. "We were scrambling getting around. We got to close the show, and finally we buckled down and made the stop."