Birthday boil: Dirk's down time

Updated: June 19, 2006, 6:41 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

MIAMI -- It stretched into a fifth period. It strayed well past midnight. It spilled all the way into Dirk Nowitzki's 28th birthday.

It was a sequence of developments that, with one more defensive stop, would have framed Nowitzki's first triumphant moment in these NBA Finals.

Problem was, after No. 41 rang in No. 28 with his clutchest jumper of the series, Miami still had enough time to get the ball to Dwyane Wade one last time.

Finals ...

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