Mavericks 3, Heat 2
Game 1: Heat 92, Mavericks 84
Game 2: Mavericks 95, Heat 93
Game 3: Heat 88, Mavericks 86
Game 4: Mavericks 86, Heat 83
Game 5: Mavericks 112, Heat 103
Sunday: at Miami, 8, Ch. 28
Tuesday: at Miami, 9, Ch. 28 *
* If necessary
MIAMI — LeBron James came to South Beach last summer for the chance to be a champion. He arrived back here Friday just hoping to be a survivor.
The Mavericks have a 3-2 lead in the Finals and can win their first title Sunday.
"I guess they have momentum in the sense they came home and won two games. But each game is its own," Miami guard Dwyane Wade said Thursday night. "Every game has been pretty much a possession here, a possession there. Either team can come in and say they can be up different than what they are. So we're confident."
So are the Mavs, who hung in for four games until their offense started clicking. They get two chances to close out the Heat but stressed the importance of doing it on the first try.
"Game 6 is Game 7 for us," guard Jason Terry said. "We want to play like there's no tomorrow. If we do that, I have no doubt in my mind we can be successful. We must come out aggressively."
Wrapping it up on Miami's floor would be sweet revenge for Terry and Dirk Nowitzki, part of the team that lost to Miami in the 2006 Finals, including the clinching Game 6 in Dallas.
That remained the Heat's biggest moment until July, when James and Chris Bosh signed. The Heat threw a bash, their three superstars posing and dancing on stage while drawing some ridicule around the league.
There's no dancing now, especially with Wade's sore left hip.
He said he'll be fine in time for Sunday and will benefit from an extra day off.
James' reputation, meanwhile, has absorbed its own wound. He rebounded from his eight-point Game 4 with a triple double in Game 5. But it came with only two points in the fourth quarter. He has totaled just 11 points in the five fourth quarters.
"We've just got to push through it. At this point, we have no choice," James said. "We've got two games left, and we worked hard all year to get homecourt advantage. So we have to take advantage of it."
Ratings: Thursday's game drew a preliminary overnight rating of 12.6. The only higher Game 5 over the past seven years was last year's 12.8 between the Celtics and Lakers. Ratings represent the percentage of all homes with televisions tuned into a program. Overnight ratings measure the country's largest markets.