This isn’t some weird conspiracy by TSS, I swear. Long before Game 3 even tipped off, it was decided I’d do the recap no matter the outcome. This just so happened to work out in Miami’s favor. Following the comeback/collapse that was the final six minutes of Game 2, all the momentum rode into Dallas on the broad shoulders of Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks and for good reason. The next three games were in the Lone Star State and all the Mavs had to do was sweep the home stand and the Larry O’Brien Trophy was theirs. One thing is for certain after Game 3 though: if Dallas hopes to win this series, it will have to be on the road.
Miami’s 88-86 victory will ultimately fall in the lap of Dwyane Wade who led the charge from the opening tip continuing where the first three and a half quarters of the previous game left off. It’s obvious he is feeding off defensive matchups assigned to him and maybe some of the talk centering around his controversial and talented running mate to fuel this explosion. Regardless, Skip Bayless is loving every second. At several points in the game, the Heat found themselves up by double digits only to squander the lead but never fully relinquish control of the game.
Mario Chalmers showed up big once again while LeBron played facilitator with 17 points and nine assists (although he did have one baptismal of a dunk on Ian Mahinmi in the first quarter). Chris Bosh, who suffered a rather nasty eye injury in the first half, hit what proved to be the game winning shot in the waning seconds of the fourth when LeBron missed a shot with four seconds left which would have iced the contest. Learning from the brain lapses of last game, Udonis Haslem guarded Nowitzki on the game’s last play “forcing” him into a fade away jumper which hit the back iron.
Even with the missed potential overtime-sending shot, Dirk was the star of the show once again wit 34 points and 11 rebounds. Dallas even dominated Miami at the free throw line 27-15 and fouls (their 14 to Miami’s 27), but the Mavs Achilles’ heel proved to be the lack of production by its starters. While The Big Volkswagen went 11-21 from the field, Kidd, Chandler, Marion and Stevenson shot a combined 9-25. Add Jason Terry and the stat line swells to 14-38. Credit the Heat’s perimeter defense with part of that as well as the Mavs simply missing open shots.
We head into Game 4 with Dallas supporters harboring the belief they were nearly up 2-1 with a bad shooting performance from the supporting cast, and that is very true. Miami fans, however, believe they could easily be 3-0 and LeBron has yet to have one of those games where he defies all conventional logic. And if Wade continues this run, he may not need to. Still, the series is far from over. Game 4 is Tuesday night with tipoff scheduled at 9 p.m.