Miami Heat edges Dallas Mavericks, leads NBA Finals 2-1

DALLAS — The Heat didn't blow this one. Now Miami is two wins from being crowned NBA champions.

Chris Bosh made a 16-foot, go-ahead jumper from the baseline with 39.6 seconds left and the Heat held on for an 88-86 victory over the Mavericks on Sunday night for a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals.

History says the win is huge. The Game 3 winner in a tied Finals has won the championship all 11 times since the 2-3-2 format began in 1985.

In Game 2, Miami failed to hold a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter. Sunday, the Heat already wasted a 14-point lead, then went back ahead 81-75 with 6:31 left.

After Bosh's clutch shot, Nowitzki threw the ball away passing out of a double team, then after LeBron James missed a jumper, Nowitzki hit the back iron on a jumper at the buzzer.

"This is a total win," said guard Dwyane Wade, who led Miami with 29 points and 11 rebounds. "You want to win on the defensive end of the floor and we got a stop. We felt this was a must-win."

Bosh, 1-8 all time in his hometown of Dallas, overcame a swollen left eyelid caused by a poke during the first quarter to score 18. He had seven in the fourth.

"I have confidence in my shot, and my teammates have confidence in me, too," Bosh said

"It went just how we thought it would," Heat forward Udonis Haslem said of Bosh's shot. "He stepped up with confidence and knocked it down."

"I don't care if he missed 15 in a row," James said. "He was wide open, and that's his sweet spot."

James added 17 points and nine assists. But he also had four turnovers, including a pair during the fourth quarter.

Asked about playing the role of villain (a sign in the stands read "Mavs — Do it for Cleveland too."), James said curtly: "I think I've answered that question before. Next question."

Nowitzki finished with 34 points but got little help. Jason Terry (15) and Shawn Marion (10) were shut out in the fourth.

The Mavs went to Nowitzki on their last two chances but with no success. He tried passing out of a Haslem-led double team and threw the ball into the stands, then hit the back iron on a jumper over Haslem as time ran out.

"(Nowitzki) knows he is going to have to carry a certain load. We're a team built on balance. We'd like to make it easier on him,'' Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said.

Dallas backup center Brendan Haywood did not play because of a hip injury.

MIAMI (88): James 6-14 4-4 17, Bosh 7-18 4-5 18, Anthony 1-4 0-0 2, Bibby 1-5 0-0 3, Wade 12-21 3-4 29, Haslem 3-7 0-0 6, Miller 0-1 0-0 0, Howard 0-0 1-2 1, Chalmers 4-8 0-0 12. Totals 34-78 12-15 88.

DALLAS (86): Marion 4-12 2-2 10, Nowitzki 11-21 9-9 34, Chandler 1-4 3-4 5, Kidd 3-8 1-2 9, Stevenson 1-1 0-0 3, Stojakovic 1-2 0-0 2, Terry 5-13 4-6 15, Mahinmi 0-1 2-2 2, Barea 2-8 1-2 6, Cardinal 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-70 22-27 86.

Miami 29 18 20 21— 88

Dallas 22 20 22 22— 86

3-Point GoalsMiami 8-19 (Chalmers 4-6, Wade 2-4, Bibby 1-4, James 1-4, Miller 0-1), Dallas 8-21 (Nowitzki 3-5, Kidd 2-5, Stevenson 1-1, Terry 1-3, Barea 1-5, Stojakovic 0-1, Marion 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsMiami 47 (Wade 11), Dallas 47 (Chandler, Nowitzki 11). AssistsMiami 20 (James 9), Dallas 18 (Kidd 10). Total FoulsMiami 27, Dallas 14. A20,340 (19,200).

WILKENS honored: Lenny Wilkens was honored with the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award, given by the National Basketball Coaches Association and named for the longtime Pistons coach.

Pistons fire coach: Detroit fired coach John Kuester, four days after Tom Gores completed an agreement to buy the team. Kuester was 57-107 over two seasons with Detroit, which failed to make the postseason in consecutive years for the first time since 1993-95. Coaches and players feuded and attendance suffered.

NBA Finals

Heat 2, Mavericks 1

Game 1: Heat 92, Mavericks 84

Game 2: Mavericks 95, Heat 93

Sunday: Heat 88, Mavericks 86

Tuesday: at Dallas, 9, Ch. 28

Thursday: at Dallas, 9, Ch. 28

June 12: at Miami, 8, Ch. 28 *

June 14: at Miami, 9, Ch. 28 *

* If necessary

Heat 88

Mavs 86

heat leads series 2-1

Miami Heat edges Dallas Mavericks, leads NBA Finals 2-1 06/06/11 [Last modified: Monday, June 6, 2011 1:14am]

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