NBA Finals Game 4: Miami Heat (2-1) vs. Dallas Mavericks (1-2)

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 05: Chris Bosh reacts after the final buzzer as the Heat defeated the Dallas Mavericks 88-86 in Game Three of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Miami Heat are coming off of their exciting 2-point victory in Dallas on Sunday night and now hold a 2 games to 1 lead over the Mavericks in the NBA Finals.  Miami has played well for a good amount in this series, but Dallas' ability to go on some amazing runs is what has kept them in this series, as it has throughout the playoffs.  It's truly impressive what the Mavs have been able to do, but hopefully we've seen the last mesmerizing comeback by that team during this years playoffs.

To win the series, it's going to take an extended one of those special runs for Dallas to come out on top.  Though its not at all impossible, not many teams would be confident that they can beat the Miami Heat 3 times in 4 games.  That's exactly what the Mavericks have to do if they want to beat the Heat and capture their first NBA Championship.

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For that to happen someone other then Dirk Nowitzki is going to have to step up.  Dirk had a huge Game 3, finishing with 34 points and scoring the last 12 of the game for the Mavs.  As for the 4 Dallas starters other then Nowitzki, they combined for just 27 points.  That isn't gonna for the Mavs if they want to win this series, as it wouldn't for any team no matter how reliant they are on one player. 

One guy in particular that needs to step up for Dallas isn't a starter, but Jason Terry is still counted on a lot by the Mavs to contribute and so far in the Finals the only thing he's done consistently is run his mouth.  Who would've thought that coming off the Heat bench, Mario Chalmers would be just as valuable as Terry.  That's been the case so far in the series, and their numbers is indicative of that. 

Rio is averaging almost 5 minutes less per game then Terry, who has scored 43 total points in the series while Chalmers has put up 33.  The big eye-opener is in their 3-point shooting; Terry is 4-of-12 from downtown and Rio is 8-of-19.  Who would've thought that 3 games into the Finals, Mario Chalmers would have twice as many triples as Jason Terry.  Not the Mavericks, that's for sure. 

GAME NOTES

  • For the first time since 1998, consecutive Finals games were decided by 2 points or less.
  • Miami has lost 9 straight regular season games in Dallas but has won their last two Finals games played there. 
  • Jason Terry played all 12 minutes of the 4th quarter in Game 3, shooting 0-for-4 and scoring no points.
  • LeBron James has attempted just 10 free throws in the first three games of the Finals, the lowest 3-game total in his NBA Playoff career. 
  • Dirk Nowitzki has made all 24 of his free throw attempts so far in the Finals. 
  • The Heat is now 5-3 on the road in the Playoffs.  Dallas is 7-2 at home. 
  • Miami is still reporting no injuries.
  • For the Mavs, Caron Butler (knee) is out and Brendan Haywood (hip) is questionable. 

Tipoff from the American Airlines Center is set for 9pm and the game will be nationally broadcast on ABC.  The Heat will be hosting another watch party at the AAA with the doors opening at 8.  Tickets have been gone for a while, but they are still available for Game 5 on the Heat's website.  If you are going, parking will be available in the P2 garage for $5 on a first come, first served basis. 

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