Nowitzki, Mavs rally late to shock the Heat
MIAMI - Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks put a stunning end to their misery in Miami. Now they can win their first NBA title without ever coming back to Florida.
MIAMI - Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks put a stunning end to their misery in Miami.
Now they can win their first NBA title without ever coming back to Florida.
Nowitzki made the tiebreaking layup with 3.6 seconds left, and the Mavericks roared back from 15 points down in the fourth quarter to beat the Heat, 95-93, on Thursday night and tie the NBA Finals at one game apiece.
Capping a furious rally by scoring Dallas' final nine points, Nowitzki made two late baskets. He finished with 24 points.
Dwyane Wade had 36 points for Miami, but his desperation three-pointer was off at the buzzer.
"I thought defensively we really got into them," Nowitzki said of the rally. "We pressured them full court, and we scrambled defensively. We even gave up some offensive rebounds, but we kept scrambling."
Game 3 is Sunday in Dallas.
Seemingly out of the game when the Heat led, 88-73, with 7 minutes, 15 seconds remaining, Dallas held the Heat to just one field goal from there, a three-pointer by Mario Chalmers with 24.5 seconds that tied it just two seconds after Nowitzki's trey had made it 93-90.
But after a timeout, Jason Kidd ran the clock down before getting the ball to Nowitzki, who drove into the lane, spun back to the left, and made the layup.
Jason Terry, largely silent since the first half of Game 1, fueled the comeback with a couple of jumpers and finished with 16 points. Shawn Marion had 20 points for the Mavericks.
They were about to go down by 2-0 this time before Nowitzki, who insisted his injured finger wouldn't hinder him, led a rally even more amazing than the one that won Game 4 of the Western Conference finals, when the Mavs trailed Oklahoma City by 15 in the fourth quarter before pulling it out in overtime.
LeBron James scored 20 points for the Heat.
He and Wade were running by and over the older Mavs for three quarters, and it appeared the only thing that could slow them down was that big trophy they would soon be holding.
Not so fast.
Wade angered the Mavs, particularly Terry, when he held his follow through after his three-pointer from the corner with 7:15 left capped a 13-0 run and made it 88-73.
The Heat suddenly went cold, holding the ball too long on possessions and forcing James and Wade to attempt long jumpers with the shot clock winding down, instead of playing to their strengths and driving into the lane.
Mavericks 95 Heat 93
Series tied, 1-1.