Dirk Nowitzki reacts after making a three-pointer in the fourth quarter. He was named MVP of the NBA Finals. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
In what is usually a white sea of Heat fans, there were little specks of blue littered all over the place as the Dallas faithful were out to see their team try and win it all. The game started with both teams scoring fairly easily, getting to the rim and hitting outside shots. Miami went on the first run of the night, outscoring Dallas 8-0 and soon after held a nice 9-point lead, but things changed quickly at the half-way point of the quarter.
They outscored the Heat 21-7 over the last 6 minutes, with 3 of those 7 points coming from an Eddie House triple in the final seconds of the quarter. The Mavs kept the pedal down though, opening the 2nd with a quick 8-1 run and suddenly had a 12-point lead. The stunned Heat fans wouldn't be upset very long because just as quick as Dallas took that lead, Miami took it right back. The home team, sparked by Eddie House, scored 14 straight points to go back ahead.
Again it was the Mavs on the late quarter run, this time a 10-1 stretch that put them up 4 before a pair of Mario Chalmers free throws gave Dallas the 2-point lead they would take into the break. LeBron James had a very hot-cold 1st half. He started by making his first 4 shots, scoring 9 early points, but went just 1-for-5 during the rest of the half. For Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki had his worst half of the Finals, hitting just 1 of his 12 shots.
He was looking to change that early in the 3rd though, hitting his first shot and later his first 3-pointer. It seemed like every time the Heat had an opportunity to make a run Dallas would respond with a triple. They hit a pair mid-way through the quarter, putting them at 9-of-18 for the game from downtown. By the end of the 3rd quarter, the most upsetting stat coming from Miami was the amount of missed free throws.
When you go into a 4th quarter trailing by 9 points and you are 15-for-26 from the foul line, that's a big problem. However, at this point you just have to look ahead. It had now gotten to the point where there was no margin for error. Regardless of what had gone right or wrong so far in the game, the Heat now has 12 minutes to score at least 9 more points then the Mavericks or their season was over.
Starting the 4th quarter by allowing Dallas to go on an 8-0 run in a 2-minute span was a pretty poor way to start the final fight for your season. Miami slowly tried to chip away at the now double-digit lead, but they were missing a lot of shots. With 6 minutes left the Mavs were up by 10, and the Heat got 3 thanks to a Bosh and 1, and could've cut it down to 5 but a dumb turnover by Mario Chalmers on a fast break gave the ball back to Dallas.
The end of the game was just like the majority of this series, with the Mavericks converting on the big possessions while the Heat were not. Between the turnovers and missed shots, it was painful watching the season end the way it did for Miami. Credit has to go to Dallas though, they played amazingly well in this series from top to bottom, and it all starts with their coach Rick Carlisle.
The shooting was really amazing to watch, though quite hard from a Heat fans perspective. The Mavs D was just as good, keeping Miami off balance and uncomfortable for a good part of the series. Make no mistake, the Heat will be back, but you have to hope that they learn some very valuable lessons in this one because they were definitely out-played and while I think Erik Spoelstra did a good job, he was still out coached by Carlisle, who couldn't seem to make a wrong move.
- Chris Bosh took just 9 shots but made 7 of them, finishing with 19 points and 8 boards.
- LeBron James led the Heat with 21 points, adding 4 rebounds and 6 assists but turned the ball over 6 times and went just 1-of-4 from the free throw line.
- D-Wade went just 6-of-16 from the field. His line was 17-8-6 and he turned it over 5 times.
- Mario Chalmers actually had more points (18) then Wade, though he missed 5 of his 7 shots from downtown.
- The Heat turned the ball over 17 times which led to 28 Dallas points.
- Miami also had a very poor night at the charity stripe, making just 60.6% of their free throws (20-of-33).
- Dallas again was lights out from downtown, hitting 11-of-26 from beyond the arc.
- Jason Terry led all scorers with 27 points, and Dirk added 21 to go with 11 boards.
That's it for now. Congrats to Dallas for a great season and series. They certainly deserved the win in this series as they played absolutely outstanding. Like I said, the Heat will be back, and they will be that much better for going through this experience. Thanks for a great season, everyone.