These never-say-die Mavs rallied from a 15-point deficit, halfway through the fourth quarter.
Facing a daunting 2-0 hole, the Mavs, led by Dirk, and Jason Terry, and smart, steely play by Kidd and Marion, stunned the Heat which prior to that furious comeback had looked too athletic, too unstoppable.
Game 3 is on Monday, June 6 (Sunday, June 5 U.S. time). We’ve got a series, ladies and gentlemen.
Nope, Wade is not injured
In spite of the loss, Wade was brilliant. He was aggressive taking it to the hole, his perimeter shots were falling in, and was active on defense.
Last time, we questioned if he was injured. Now we know the answer to that: he’s just fine.
His line: 36 points on 13/20 shooting, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks and just one turnover. Usually, that would be enough for the Heat to win. Not on this night though.
Dirk, also looking pretty fine
In Game 1, Dirk injured his finger while trying to tap the ball away from Chris Bosh. In the one day rest between Games 1 and 2, the Big German had been trying to find a splint that was comfortable.
We’re guessing he found the right one.
His line: 24 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists. All night long, Dirk had been a little inconsistent with his shot, missing those which he normally makes.
But when it counted, Dirk was laser-accurate, including that ice-cold 3-pointer that gave them the lead after being down since early in the third.
And lest we forget, his left-handed lay-up gave them the win, which capped off a 22-5 run by the Mavs.
The Jet finally takes off
The horrible shooting for Jason Terry continued for majority of this game. But he got hot at just the right time, making key perimeter shots in the final quarter, finishing with 16 points and 5 assists.
The rest of the Mavs’ bench and role players finally played with the proper intensity as well. J.J. Barea— although he only finished with 5 points— ran circles around the Heat in the second quarter, helping his team get the lead, before the Heat came back to tie it as the first half ended.
Marion continues to play with resolve as well, finishing with 20 points on 9/14 shooting and 8 rebounds. Chandler anchored the Mavs defense once again, and finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds. Even Deshawn Stevenson had his moments, finishing with three 3-pointers.
Peja Stojakovic contributed as well, simply by not playing. Even in just 5 minutes of play though, he managed to “contribute” 1 turnover. Way to go!
Wade and James play “Hero Ball” again
More often than not, Wade and James dazzle like a comic book superhero performing epic feats. In one sequence, they made Game 2 look like a session of NBA Jam, taking turns abusing the basket with their ferocious ring grenades. That’s when the two are at their best, when they are attacking the rim.
So we’ve got to ask: why the hell are they shooting so many threes? As ESPN notes, the two are on a hot streak from long range, but they aren’t Ray Allen or Reggie Miller. And in this game, their hot streak seems to be nearing the end, as the duo shot just 4 out of 14 from long range.
Making it even worse, Lebron and Wade chose the wrong time to stop attacking the rim. Clinging to a two-point lead, Lebron shot a three. Clank. They got an offensive rebound. Lebron, chucks it from distance again. Another offensive rebound. This time, it’s Wade. He shoots it, and bricks it, leading to a three on one fastbreak where Dirk tied the ball game with a layup.
Stop the brick-laying, Miami. Also, stop with the premature celebration, please. It ain’t classy.
The Mavs had no business being in this game. They were sloppy with the ball, and were giving away possessions like it was Christmas. The main offenders: Kidd and Dirk. Both players turned it over 5 times. The team totaled 18 for the game, as compared to the Heat’s 12.
In a sense, the Mavs got lucky, or maybe the Heat got complacent, but if Dallas wants to win this series, it has to stop turning the ball over. Many of those unforced gimmes were just awful. Take care of the ball, Dallas!