Friday, June 10, 2011
Mavericks hit stride on offense
By Art Garcia
DALLAS -- Jason Terry said before Game 5 that reaching 100 points would be recipe for success for the Dallas Mavericks. He was right on.
In what was easily the highest-scoring game of these NBA Finals, the Mavericks overwhelmed the Heat, 112-103, with an offensive display that Miami's vaunted defense couldn't contain. The Mavs shot 56.5 percent from the floor, including an astounding 68.4 percent (13-of-19) on 3-pointers.
The Mavs were shooting 34.2 percent overall in the first four games of the series.
"We are getting the same looks we knew we would get," said Terry, who made 3-of-5 from downtown, including the game-clincher with 33.3 seconds left. "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."
Dallas averaged 87.8 points on 41.4 percent shooting through four games. Miami wasn't much better at 89.0 points and 42.8 percent. Game 5 was actually the Heat's highest-scoring and best-shooting (52.9 percent) game off the postseason.
Each team recorded its first 30-point quarter of the Finals. Each did it in the first period, with the Mavs following it up in the second. Dallas' 60-point first half was also a Finals best for either side.
"They made their shots," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of the Mavs. "This is a shot-making team. We were aware of that before we came into the series. They can really extend your defense and you have to be active and athletic, all of these things."
Out of the nine Mavericks that played, only Shawn Marion didn't make at least half of his shots. The Mavs were waiting for this kind of outburst.
"We started trading baskets, even in the first half, when we were going well offensively," said Dirk Nowitzki, the game's high scorer with 29. "We traded baskets, gave up too many layups, so that was a little disappointing.
"But at least we shot the ball well enough to get the win. I thought J.J. Barea was phenomenal behind screens, making shots. And Jet obviously in the fourth quarter made the big 3 top of the key to tie it and basically made a tough one on the right wing to put the game away."