Oh the finger. The tendon. That thing on his finger with a weird name. Didn’t matter. Dirk Nowitzki took over in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, scoring the last nine points, capping off the Mavs’ incredible 22-5 run, coming back from being 73-88 down to a 95-93 win. Nowitzki, who else, hit the game winning shot, spinning on Chris Bosh and making a rather comfortable layup, with that so talked about left hand.
I don’t understand teams sometimes. It’s not that the Dallas defense suddenly became all Bad Boy Pistons like. The Heat just stopped going inside, and kinda tried to play down the clock after Wade hit that three that got them their 15 point lead. The possessions became longer and longer, the shots came from further and further away. Jason Terry warmed up, finishing with 16 points. Dirk Nowitzki did the rest. With that bad finger.
Miami had the Mavericks on the ropes, with Dwyane Wade having a huge night, scoring 36 points. Still, the took their foot of the gas and just wandered into quicksand. They couldn’t turn it on again when the Mavericks started running again.
Besides Nowitzki, who had a wonderful finish, providing a 24-11 stat line, Dallas got someone to step up offensively, and not just Jason Terry with his outside shooting . Shawn Marion scored 20 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Tyson Chandler scored 13 and grabbed 7. In general, the Mavs were much more aggressive offensively, getting up 23 shots from within five feet of the basket, making 15 of them. Winning the boards battle wasn’t too bad either – 41-30, grabbing 11 offensive rebounds, mostly by Chandler and Marion.
As always with Dallas in these playoffs, the bench that scored more was on the winning side. Miami got nothing out of Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem plus a terrible night from Chris Bosh (12 points, 4-16). The Mavs? 23 points, 16 of them from Jason Terry. I guess Dallas can handle one Heat superstar being unstoppable if they can keep the rest at bay.
Dallas are heading a little banged up into game 3 – Nowitzki, Jason Terry and Brendan Haywood. Three days is a long time for those injuries to be dissected. More intriguing will be how the Heat respond to their first home playoff loss this post season. Only one team has ever won the title while going 10-0 at home during the playoffs, the 1996 Chicago Bulls.
The Mavs didn’t like LeBron and Wade celebrating after Wade’s tre that put them 15 up. Maybe this will give this series some edge and a bit more intensity to the game. Don’t get me wrong, I love the finals so far – tight, close games going up and down. Still, I think they can give us just a bit more.