Heat falter late in 4th, head home in 3-2 hole

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 09: Dwyane Wade and LeBron James look on in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Five of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The early stages of this game were great from a Mavs perspective and not so much for the Heat.  Dallas shot the ball well from the beginning of this one, and that will happen when you give a team some of the easy looks that they were getting.  Miami stayed close though, despite a few more turnovers then you'd like.  Mario Chalmers capped off a nice late 1st quarter run by hitting another halfcourt shot at the buzzer, putting Miami up by 1. 

The Heat got a scare late in the 1st quarter though when Dwyane Wade went down after colliding with Brian Cardinal and went back to the locker room.  He returned about 10 minutes or so later and the report was that he had a left hip contusion.  That wouldn't keep him out of the game though, and Miami did a good job maintaining a lead for the majority of the 2nd quarter.

That changed late though as the Mavs went on a late 12-2 run to go from down by 6 to up by 4.  A Mario Chalmers triple would give the Heat their first field goal in almost 4 minutes, and Miami went into the half down by 3.  That was a bit remarkable considering Dallas shot 65.7% while the Heat hit 51.3% and turned the ball over 9 times. 

The Mavs held the lead throughout the 3rd quarter, though Miami stayed close.  Dallas just couldn't seem to miss from downtown, making 4-of-5 to start the quarter.  It's quite demoralizing for a team to seemingly hit big shot after big shot regardless of how well you might be playing defense.  This was certainly a game where the role players stepped up, and I guess the Mavs just got the best of Miami. 

A 9-0 run by the Heat would help them capture their first lead of the 2nd half, and they were up by 4 with 4½ minutes left.  They wouldn't score much from there on out though, as Dallas answered with a 17-4 run to close out the game, hitting some big time shots that put the game out of reach.  Miami now heads home needing back-to-back wins if they want to knock off the Mavs and take the title. 

GAME NOTES

  • Miami has lost back-to-back games for the first time in the Playoffs. 
  • LeBron had a triple-double (17-10-10) but again disappeared in the 4th quarter, scoring just 2 points. 
  • While he only played 34 minutes, Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 23 points.  He did most of his damage at the line, going 10-of-12. 
  • The Miami bench was great, scoring 45 points. 
  • Another 4 triples for Mario Chalmers, who finished with 15 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. 
  • Chris Bosh had a double double, scoring 19 and grabbing 10 boards. 
  • Each of the Big 3 had 4 turnovers apiece. 

Miami now heads home to South Florida to try and grab a win in Game 6 and force a deciding 7th game.  We've got a couple days to wait, as the next game doesn't come until Sunday night. 

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