Monday, June 6, 2011

Finals- Mavs vs Heat: Game 3

The Mavericks stepped foot onto their home court Sunday night hoping to gain a 2-1 series lead with the advantage of playing 2 more games in the AAC but came up short after Dirk missed a game-winner at the buzzer.

A Finals series has reached the third game tied at 1-1 eleven times since the NBA switched to a 2-3-2 format in 1985, and all 11 of those times, the winner of Game 3 has moved on to win the championship.

The Mavs will now try to win Game 4 on their home court and become the first team to change this after trailing in the series, 1-2.

Dallas was missing Brendan Haywood in Game 3 due to his strained right hip flexor that he injured in the second half of Game 2.

The Mavs took a quick 14-9 lead in the first quarter after a great block by Chandler and a 3-pointer on the other end by Stevenson. But the Heat's "Big 3" didn't let the Mavs pull away as Lebron had a monstrous dunk over Mahinmi and Chalmers hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer (although controversial to a back-court violation) to put Miami up 29-22 to end the first quarter.

Chalmers didn't end it there as he swished in another 3-pointer in the opening minutes of the second quarter to put the Heat up by double-digits. Mahinmi, who played in Haywood's absence, picked up 3 quick fouls, forcing Chandler to come back into the game quicker than preferred. Dirk finally took over for the Mavs but this wasn't enough to stop Wade and Lebron from taking advantage of Dallas' crucial turnovers. The Heat led by as much as 14 before the Mavs went on an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to just 5 before heading into halftime down, 47-42.

Miami outshot the Mavs in the first half, 41.5% to 38.9%. Wade racked up 19 points to lead all scorers while Dirk and Lebron each had 10 points of their own. Both teams had 6 turnovers but the Heat had a greater advantage as they scored 14 points off of them while the Mavs scored just 8.

The Heat began the third quarter on an 8-0 run and another thunderous slam but Lebron. Dallas then responded with a 9-0 run of their own capped off with a 3-pointer by Dirk. Miami's continuous fouls led to the Mavs tying the game at 57 with less than 5 minutes to go in the third after baskets from Dirk and Marion. Terry hit another bucket to finish off a 17-3 Dallas run and put them up by 1 until the Heat answered with back to back 3-pointers by Lebron and Chalmers to regain the lead at 67-74 before heading into the final quarter.

The fourth quarter started with a basket from Lebron after stripping Marion, putting the Mavs in a deeper hole. Despite the deficit, the Mavericks knew they had to fire back as Barea swished in a 3-pointer to keep them in the game followed by another 3-pointer by Dirk to tie the game at 70. Dirk continued to make shots to keep the Mavs in the game before it was eventually tied up again at 86 in the final minute. Bosh hit a crucial shot to put the Heat up by 2 with 39.6 seconds to go, followed by a Nowitzki turnover on the other end which led to a Lebron jumper with 4.4 ticks remaining. Kidd inbounded the ball to Nowitzki with a chance to win the game but missed after the ball bounced off the rim at the buzzer to give the victory and a 2-1 series lead to the Heat.

Dirk finished with a game-high 34 points, including 15 in the final quarter as well as Dallas' last 12 in the final 7 minutes of the game as well as 11 rebounds. Marion was the only other starter to score in double figures with 10 points. Kidd finished 1 point short of a double-double with 9 points and 10 assists while Terry added 15 points off the bench.

Wade led the Heat with 29 points and 11 rebounds while Bosh finished with 18 points and Lebron with 17 points and 9 assists. Off the bench, Chalmers had 12 points.

Despite being out-rebounded 42-36, Miami outshot Dallas, 43.6% to 40% and had a 40-22 advantage in points in the paint. The Heat also scored 19 points off of Dallas' 14 turnovers.

The Mavericks will now try to even up the series once again in Game 4 Tuesday night in the AAC.

**Game 4 will air on ABC on Tuesday, June 7th at 9pm ET.

Bosh making a move to the basket

Wade puts up a jumper

Lebron going in for a slam

Dirk looking to pass the ball

Terry putting up a shot over Wade

Marion trying to make a move around Howard

Photo Credit- NBAE/Getty Images:
Ronald Martinez
Glenn James
Mike Ehrmann


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Finals- Mavs vs Heat: Game 3