NBA Finals - Game 3

Heat take 2-1 lead in NBA finals


Bosh made a 16-foot, go-ahead jumper from the baseline with 39.6 seconds left while Haslem guarded Dirk Nowitzki the rest of the way as the Heat held on for an 88-86 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night for a 2-1 lead in the NBA finals.

Recent history says this is a huge win for the Heat. The Game 3 winner in a tied finals has won the championship all 11 times since the 2-3-2 format began in 1985.

The Heat are headed into Game 4 on Tuesday night with a chance to do what they did in 2006: win it all on Dallas' floor. They'll need to win that game and the next, on Thursday night.

With all its star power, many expected Miami to be planning a victory parade by now, especially after a solid victory in Game 1.

But the Heat blew a 15-point lead in the last quarter of Game 2, and nearly did it again this time, coughing up a 14-point lead.

The Mavericks of course went back to Nowitzki on its last two chances. And Haslem was right there both times for the Heat.

Right after Bosh scored, Nowitzki wanted to take a shot near the foul line but had Haslem swarming him and Wade charging at him. He jumped to shoot but twisted and threw toward Shawn Marion near the 3-point line on the right side. Marion had already taken off toward the basket, so the ball went into the front row instead.

When the buzzer went off, Haslem swung his arms and screamed in delight while a frenzied crowd of 20,340 sighed in agony.

Nowitzki scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, but didn't get much help, in the period or the rest of the game.

Terry scored 15 and Shawn Marion had 10. Both were shut out in the fourth quarter. The only other scorers were backup point guard J.J. Barea early in the quarter and Tyson Chandler dunking off a rebound.

For the game, Nowitzki made 11 shots, the rest of the Mavericks 17.

Nothing came easy for anyone. Shots were contested, bodies collided for every rebound and guys were flying into the stands after loose balls. Fans stood throughout, wearing their blue gimme T-shirts and fired up by videos such as one featuring encouraging words from Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Nolan Ryan and others.

Ultimately, it was the visitors from Miami who walked off celebrating.

Dallas fell to 8-2 at home this postseason. ... The Heat and Mavs have each won a road game this series, which should be no surprise. They tied for the best road record in the NBA this season.

Game 4 is Tuesday in Dallas.

 

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