Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dallas Mavericks stage huge rally to beat Miami Heat 95-93, even NBA Finals

MIAMI — The celebration was in full swing late Thursday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

The Heat dancers were gyrating, the crowd swaying and the players, perhaps, mulling some early morning revelry. Lively Latin music pumped through the speakers, and there was nary a sweaty palm in the building.

With Miami sporting a 15-point lead — and Dallas seemingly losing interest — why should there be? At that very moment, no one could have predicted the series of events to come.

Closing the game with a 22-5 run, the Mavericks shocked the Heat with a 95-93 win that left the best-of-seven NBA Finals tied at 1 as the scene shifts to Dallas for Games 3, 4 and 5.

The story of the game starts and ends with Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki who after playing one of his most uninspired games of the postseason finished with a championship-worthy performance capped by a driving layup against Chris Bosh with 3.6 seconds left.

After making six of his first 17 shots, Nowitzki made four of his final five to score Dallas' final nine. He finished with 24 points. But even more impressive was the fact that a couple of Nowitzki's late shots were finished with his left hand, the hand on which he has a torn tendon in the middle finger.

"I played with (Larry) Bird for three years when he was the best player in the world," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "Guys like that don't feel pain right now. You play, and if you're feeling pain, you make yourself numb. You've got to be a warrior."

Before Nowitzki upstaged him, Miami's Dwyane Wade seemed intent on winning another Finals most valuable player award. His 3-pointer with 7:14 left gave Miami an 88-73 lead and him 36 points.

He would not score again. Dallas' defense clamped down, and Miami folded.

Will the Heat recover?

"When it started to slide, it just kept on going," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We've had our moments where we feel uncomfortable and feel like our backs are against the wall. That's when we've responded and been at our best."

Thursday, there was a stark contrast to the in-your-face, no-room-to-breathe brand of defense exhibited by both clubs in Game 1. The pace of the game was quite different, featuring many more fastbreaks.

That's a style of play embraced by the Mavericks. Carlisle even conceded before the game they would be hard-pressed to win a series playing a halfcourt game.

The problem is Miami can play that game, too. There was no better evidence than the opening minutes of the third quarter, during which the Heat had three straight fastbreak baskets.

A Nowitzki turnover led to the first, a breakaway dunk for LeBron James. The next was one of the flashiest highlights of these playoffs, Wade grabbing the ball in the open court, racing past Nowitzki while wrapping the ball around his back and finishing with a two-handed reverse slam. Finally, Wade tossed an alley-oop to James, leaving Dallas trailing 57-52.

All night, Miami made runs, and Dallas didn't respond — until the end.

Miami still led by 10 with 5:21 left, but Dallas kept chipping away. Jason Kidd cut the lead to 90-84 with a 3-pointer. Then after a Miami miss, Jason Terry hit a pull-up jumper to slice the deficit to four.

Then Nowitzki happened. And this series got turned upside down.

Mavericks 95, Heat 93

DALLAS (95): Marion 9-14 2-2 20, Nowitzki 10-22 3-3 24, Chandler 4-6 5-8 13, Kidd 2-7 0-0 6, Stevenson 3-6 0-0 9, Stojakovic 0-0 0-0 0, Terry 5-11 6-6 16, Haywood 1-2 0-0 2, Barea 2-7 1-2 5, Cardinal 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 36-75 17-21 95.

MIAMI (93): James 8-15 2-4 20, Bosh 4-16 4-4 12, Anthony 0-0 0-0 0, Bibby 5-8 0-0 14, Wade 13-20 8-12 36, Haslem 1-3 0-0 2, Chalmers 3-8 2-4 9, Miller 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 34-73 16-24 93.



3-Point GoalsDallas 6-17 (Stevenson 3-5, Kidd 2-5, Nowitzki 1-2, Terry 0-2, Barea 0-3), Miami 9-30 (Bibby 4-7, Wade 2-7, James 2-7, Chalmers 1-6, Miller 0-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsDallas 51 (Nowitzki 11), Miami 39 (Bosh, James 8). AssistsDallas 18 (Kidd, Terry 5), Miami 13 (Wade 6). Total FoulsDallas 20, Miami 17. TechnicalsDallas Coach Carlisle, Miller. A20,003 (19,600).

Dallas Mavericks stage huge rally to beat Miami Heat 95-93, even NBA Finals 06/02/11 [Last modified: Friday, June 3, 2011 9:44am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Rays looking to get even with Angels, with no TV


    The Rays are looking for a split in the four-game series with the Angels in today's 1:10 matinee, a game that is not on TV in the Tampa Bay market.

    RHP Matt Andriese will start for the Rays, seeking to go deeper than his last start, when he was ejected after hitting New York's Aaron Judge with his first pitch …

    Matt Andriese will start for the Rays.
  2. It's official: Bucs, Jaguars set joint practices for August


    It's been reported for some time, but the Bucs announced Thursday that they'll hold two joint practices with the Jaguars in Jacksonville on Aug. 14-15.

    Bucs running back Charles Sims runs against the Jaguars in a preseason game last year. The two teams had joint practice last year and will again in August.
  3. Florida Gators to host South Alabama in 2020


    The Florida Gators will host South Alabama in 2020, UF announced Thursday morning.

  4. Bishop McLaughlin defies expectations in getting back to state


    SHADY HILLS — For the second time in three seasons, Bishop McLaughlin is one of the four best teams in Class 3A, but this Hurricane team couldn't be more different than its predecessor.

    Pitcher Dominic Diaz warms up his arm in practice at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School in Spring Hill, Florida on Monday, May 22, 2017.
  5. Bucs to add linebacker from Germany for 2017 practice squad


    The Bucs will be part of a new NFL program this fall that will grant an 11th practice squad slot to an overseas player, with German-born Eric Nzeocha, a linebacker who played at the University of Wyoming, slated to join Tampa Bay's roster for the 2017 season.

    Wyoming linebacker Eric Nzeocha, 24, will be an 11th member of the Bucs' practice squad in 2017 as part of a program to bring more international players to the NFL. He was born in Germany but played in college at Wyoming.