Since adopting the 2-3-2 NBA Finals format in 1985 there had been 11 examples in history of a series being tied 1-1, prior to 2011. In these 11 instances the winner of game three went on to win the series.
Again, prior to 2011.
Throughout the first half it appeared as if the pendulum had swung in Miami’s favor. Dwayne Wade — no stranger to squaring off against Nowitzki in the Finals — led the Heat with 19 first-half points. Wade scored just 3 points in the third quarter following the demonstrative first half.
Nowitzki had 10 points for Dallas. But you could say he was setting the stage for yet another epic finish. Mavs guard Jason Terry logged 10 points in the first half, as well.
Terry, along with former All-Stars Shawn Marion and Jason Kidd initiated an 11-2 run, helping Nowitzki and the Mavs trim what was once a 14-point deficit to 5 points at halftime.
Not looking to be overshadowed, Heat forward LeBron James scored or assisted on 12 of Miami’s 18 points in the third quarter.
The Heat re-established a double-digit lead, four minutes out of halftime, only for the Finals MVP to step in and rain on the premature parade, yet again.
After totaling 10 points in the first half Nowitzki averaged 12 points over the final two quarters, highlighted by 15 in the fourth. Nowitzki scored the Mavs final 12 points of the contest.
Dallas was not yet out of the woods.
Unfortunately, with the game tied at 86, James was able to find Dallas native and former All Star Chris Bosh lurking on the baseline for the go-ahead basket with 39 seconds remaining.
Nowitzki had a final opportunity to extend the game at the buzzer but could not connect from 16 feet.
Fortunately for Dallas you need four wins, not two, to receive the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
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