Sunday, June 5, 2011
Wade leads Heat in critical game three win 88-86 over Mavs to take 2-1 series lead
The Miami Heat survived two separate rally's by the Dallas Mavericks to win the critical game three to regain the series lead 2-1. The Heat won the game 88-86 behind the game winning shot by Chris Bosh who has struggled this entire series. The Mavericks had the ball last with 4.4 seconds left and unlike game two Udonis Haslem defended Dirk Nowitzki forcing Nowiztki to miss a tough jump shot. This was a huge game as the winner of game three in a 1-1 series is 11-0 since the NBA Finals shift to a 2-3-2 format in 1985. The Heat were able to win this game because of Dwyane Wade who scored 29 points including seven in the fourth quarter and pulled down 11 rebounds. For the Mavericks they were led by Nowitzki who scored 34 points including 15 in the fourth quarter and he too pulled down 11 rebounds. The Heat got off to a great start then survived several rallies by the Mavericks to hang on for this win. This win is huge for the Heat as it guarantees them at the very worst a trip back to South Beach.
In the first quarter the Heat came out agressive and were attacking the rim. Unlike the previous two games Lebron James and Dwyane Wade didn't attempt a single three pointer. Then at the end of the first quarter the Heat led 24-22, James got fouled made both free throw's to give the Heat a 26-22 lead. The Mavericks turned the ball over which allowed the Heat to get a final shot off. The play was supposed to go to James but he was covered well so Haslem passed to Mario Chalmers who sank the mid court three pointer to give the Heat a 29-22 lead. The Heat shot well making 12-23(52.2%) from the field while making two of four three pointers. The Heat were led by Wade who scored eight points on four for eight shooting, James who had eight points on three for four shooting and Bosh who had five points on two for four shooting. The Mavericks shot 8-16(50.0%) and made two of four from three pointers. The Mavericks were led by Jason Kidd who had five points and three assists. Nowitzki was held to just two points on one for two shooting. The Mavericks would survive the following quarter due to Nowitzki coming alive.
In the second quarter the Heat extended their lead from 29-22 to 45-31 as they were led by Dwyane Wade again. Then the Mavericks caught fire and ended the half on an 11-2 run to pull within 47-42 at halftime. For the Heat Wade scored 11 of the teams 18 points and made four of the teams five field goals. The Heat shot 5-18(27.7%) from the field that quarter and take away Wade shooting four of five the rest of the team was 1-13. For the Mavericks they were led by Nowitzki scoring eight points and blocking three shots. The Heat let go of a chance to put the Mavericks away and there was another great finish coming. The Heat were led by Wade who had 19 points on 8-13 shooting including a three pointer and had six rebounds. James scored 10 points on three for six shooting and was perfect on four free throws. While Bosh continued to struggle scoring seven points on two for nine shooting. For the Mavericks Nowitzki had 10 points on four for eight shooting including a three pointer. Nowitzki also had five rebounds and three blocks. Jason Terry also scored 10 points on three for six shooting, Shawn Marion added eight points on three for seven shooting. While Kidd had six points, five assists and four rebounds. The Mavericks in the third would survive another big deficit.
The Heat would open up the third quarter on an 8-0 run to lead 55-42. Just like the entire postseason the Mavericks wouldn't go away that easily. The Mavericks would go on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 55-51. The run continued as the Mavericks even took a 59-58 lead as their run extended to 17-3. The Heat would immediately respond as James hit a three pointer then Chalmers drilled a three pointer to give the Heat a 64-59 lead. The quarter would end with the Heat leading 67-64. The Mavericks had outscored the Heat in the third 22-20. The Heat shot 8-21(38.0%) from the field but did make two critical three pointers. The Mavericks shot 7-16(43.7%) from the field including three three pointers. The Mavericks were led by Nowitzki who scored nine of his 19 points in the third quarter. While Terry scored five of his 15 points. For the Heat Wade continued to have a great game scoring 22 points on 9-16 shooting while James scored 15 points on 5-11 shooting with five assists. Bosh continued his struggles with 11 points on 4-13 shooting. The fourth quarter was another great finish like game two and an unlikely guy hit the winning shot.
The fourth quarter was a great battle between Wade and Nowitzki. Wade scored at one point seven straight points for Heat while Nowitzki scored 15 of the Mavericks 22 points in the fourth. The Heat also had seven points from Bosh and another huge three pointer by Chalmers. With the score tied at 86 with less than a minute to go James was facing a double team he passed to Bosh. Bosh who had been passing up open shots this time drilled the go ahead shot and by far the biggest shot of his life. The Mavericks then turned the ball over but James missed a three pointer with 4.4 seconds left. Everyone knew who was going to shoot the final shot and unlike game two Haslem was on Nowitzki. Haslem forced Nowitzki to take a fall away jumper that missed. It was a shot Nowitzki has hit several times but this time he missed it. The Heat pulled off the road win that they needed and will now look to control the series with another win in Dallas.
For the Heat this was a huge win to get after the collapse in game two. The Heat were led by Wade who scored 29 points on 12-21 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds. Bosh rebounded from a poor first two games to score 18 points on 7-18 shooting including the game winning shot. James scored 17 points on 6-14 shooting and dished out nine assists. While Chalmers off the bench scored 12 points on four for six shooting from three point range. For the Mavericks they lost homecourt advantage and now must win at least one more game in Miami to win the championship. Nowitzki led all scorers with 34 points on 11-21 shooting including three three pointers and grabbed 11 rebounds. Terry had 15 points on 5-13 shooting while Marion added just 10 points on 4-12 shooting. Jason Kidd had a good all around game scoring nine points, dishing out 10 assists and grabbing six rebounds. The Mavericks didn't give Nowitzki much help while Wade received some help from his other two stars.
All in all, the winner of game three in a 1-1 series in the NBA Finals is a perfect 11 for 11 on winning the title. This was a huge game for both teams and came down to the final possession. This series is far from over but the Heat have a chance to control the series in game four where they are 2-0 these playoffs when leading 2-1. The Mavericks now have comfort knowing the next two games are still at home in Dallas and if not for a half court three pointer by Chalmers they win this game. The Heat easily could be up 3-0 or down 2-1 that is how close these NBA playoffs have been. The big advantage the Heat have going for them is Wade is playing like he did during the 2006 NBA finals. While the Mavericks can't count on only Nowitzki to bail them out. This was a great finish while the Heat snatched back homecourt with a huge win. This was a win the Heat desperately needed after the game two collapse. This was a win that a world championship team would win.
- Chris Bosh played a slightly better game but still is passing too much in the fourth quarter. The Heat are hoping that game winning shot for Bosh is the start for him to playing well. Bosh did score seven of his 18 points in the fourth quarter.
Bosh shot 7-18(38.9%) from the field which is better than he has shot so far but still below what he is capable of. Bosh had 18 points but just three rebounds. Bosh was terrific last series and the Heat are 2-1 despite him playing poorly through three games. If Bosh can play the game he is capable of the Heat can really put the pressure on the Mavericks.
- Dirk Nowitzki played a great game for the Mavericks in game three. Nowitzki scored 34 points which he scored 32 after the first quarter. Nowitzki finished shooting 11-21(52.3%) from the field, 3-5(60.0%) from three pointers, 9-9(100.0%) from free throws. He pulled down 11 rebounds and blocked three shots. In the first two games he hadn't really played well besides the fourth quarter in game two.
In this game Nowitzki was the best player on the court and scored 24 points in the second half including 15 points in the fourth quarter. He is destroying Bosh in the power forward matchup. Now Nowitzki must rally his team yet again as they trail 2-1 for the first time all playoff series. The Mavericks are 3-1 this postseason after a loss so we'll see how they respond after this tough loss. Nowitzki will have to continue to play great for the Mavericks to have a chance to win the championship.
- Dwyane Wade loves the NBA Finals and he especially loves the Dallas Mavericks. Wade had another monster game for the Heat scoring 29 points on 12-21(57.1%) shooting from the field while grabbing 11 rebounds. Wade like he was in game one was huge in the fourth quarter scoring seven points. Wade is the early favorite if the Heat win the Finals to win his second Finals MVP.
In these Finals Wade is averaging 29.0 PPG, 8.7 RPG, and 5.0 APG. Wade is shooting 34-60(56.7%) from the field and 6-15(40.0%) from three pointers. Wade is also averaging 7.7 PPG in the fourth quarter as well. Wade is carrying his team and has the Heat just two wins away from their second championship in franchise history. Bosh and James have disappeared the last two games but Wade is playing like he did in the 2006 NBA Finals. If Wade were to win his second NBA Finals curious where he lands on this all-time NBA top 10 list. For now Wade and the Heat need just two more wins and they know they are at the very worst coming back home.
In conclusion, the Miami Heat like they have this whole postseason won the critical swing game in the series. The Heat are now 4-0 in the postseason following a loss. The Heat sustained two separate big runs by the Mavericks to pull off the narrow two point victory. Now the Mavericks know realistictly they have to win game four at home as beating the Heat three times in a row which would include two in Miami seems impossible. I actually expect game four to be an even better game than game two and three as both teams know just how important that game four is. For the Heat if they win game four they basically wrap up the championship. For the Mavericks a win turns this into a best of three series. This has been a great finals watching Nowitzki try and carry the Mavericks while Wade responds every time down. Now the Heat lead this Finals 2-1 but this Finals is far from over. Wade will try and do his best this Tuesday to put this series away once and for all.