Picking up right where he left off in Game 3 was Dirk Nowitzki, hitting his first 3 shots and scoring the Mavs first 6 points as they tried to get off to a quick start. Even with a poor 1-for-11 start from the field, Miami responded and evened the game at 8 by the halfway point of the 1st quarter. Their poor shooting was leading to offensive boards as they had 7 in the first few minutes.
As has been the case throughout the series, the teams did a lot of back and forth scoring and came out of the 1st quarter with the game tied at 21. Dallas had a nice 9-0 run during the 2nd, going from down by 5 to up by 4. The Heat responded and slowly came back, eventually taking a slim lead at the end of the half and went into the break holding a 2-point advantage.
LeBron James had just 4 points on 4 shots after the first 2 quarters and was going noticeably unnoticed. You would think that was something that needed to change if Miami was going to pull this game out. That became especially true in the 2nd half when the two teams continued to duke it out. Still, Miami won the 3rd quarter just like they won the 2nd, by 2, and we're going to have to allow another Mavs comeback if they were going to lose this one.
Well, that's exactly what happened. Of course first the Heat had to make it a little more difficult, scoring the first 5 points of the 4th to get their lead up to 7. From that point on, over the last 10+ minutes of the game, Miami scored just 9 points. They couldn't solve the Dallas zone, especially LeBron. They'd run guys at him every time he got the ball, and on this occasion he just had trouble finding the open guy.
It also didn't help that nobody could hit a shot. As the game came down to the end it seemed that neither team wanted to win this game because nobody could hit anything. After over two minutes of scoreless ball, a loose ball foul got Dirk to the line and 2 points on the board for the Mavs, putting them up by 4. Miami had a chance to tie game with 30 seconds left and D-Wade at the line, but he missed one of his two free throws.
Dirk followed up with another ‘too easy' layup, at least for this kind of situation, and the lead was 3. Miami pushed it as far as they could but still ended up down by 3 with under 10 seconds left. A bobble by Wade and a prayer of a heave by Mike Miller later, the series was back even, now down to a best two out of three. While every game can be considered ‘huge', make no mistake about the importance of Game 5.
- Another high-scoring game for Dwyane Wade, finishing with 32 points. He also had 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks.
- Chris Bosh: Great 1st half. Not so much 2nd half. Still, 24 points, 6 boards.
- LeBron wasn't that good in either half. He scored just 8 points, with 9 rebounds and 7 assists. Adjustments need to be made.
- Just 14 points for the Heat bench.
- 28 for the Mavs bench, all from Stevenson and Terry.
- Dirk was fighting a 102-degree fever and still finished with 21 and 11.
- As much as Tyson Chandler gets on my nerves, I have to give credit where credit is due. 13 and 16, with 9 offensive boards.
- Mario Chalmers missed all 3 of his shots from downtown, scoring just 5 points and dishing out 6 assists and grabbing 4 rebounds.
That's all for tonight. Game 5 on Thursday.