The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat 112-103 to move within one win of their first National Basketball Association championship.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 29 points and Dallas went 13-of-19 on 3-pointers to lead the best-of-seven NBA Finals by three games to two.
Jason Terry added 21 points and hit two key 3-pointers in the closing minutes as the Mavericks ended last night’s game at American Airlines Center in Dallas with a 17-4 run. Two days earlier, the Mavericks finished with a 21-9 run to win 86-83.
“It’s just like being out there on the playground back home in Seattle,” Terry said in a news conference. “Emulating your idols in the Finals situation, game on the line. Raise up, knock it down.”
LeBron James scored two points in the fourth quarter for the Heat, continuing his late-game struggles in this series. He scored five points in the final period of Game 1, two in each of the next two games and none in Game 4.
After scoring a career playoff low eight points in Game 4, James had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists last night for his seventh career playoff triple-double and first of this year’s postseason.
“A triple-double means absolutely nothing with a loss,” James told reporters. “I could have made a couple of more plays for my team.”
Dwyane Wade overcame a hip injury to lead Miami with 23 points and Chris Bosh added 19.
The Mavericks went 20-for-32 on 3-pointers in a 122-86 victory on May 8 that completed a second-round sweep of the reigning champion Los Angeles Lakers. They were even more accurate last night -- shooting 68 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
Terry, 33, and 38-year-old Jason Kidd both went 3-for-5 on 3-pointers. J.J. Barea, at 6 feet (1.83 meters) the smallest player on the court, went 4-for-5 and Nowitzki hit his only 3-point attempt.
“He made big shots,” James said of Terry. “He made some great 3-point shots tonight, with a hand contested in his face, some of them was open. He’s just aggressive. We’ve always said that when he plays well they’re very tough to beat and that’s what he’s done the last two games.”
It was the first game in the series in which either team scored 100 or more points.
Return to Miami
Game 6 is set for Miami on June 12. If the Heat win, they’ll host the decider two days later.
“We didn’t want go to Miami and give them two shots to close this out,” Nowitzki said at a news conference. “We’re going in there Sunday swinging, like we did today.”
The Mavericks led almost the entire first quarter before Mario Chalmers sank a shot from just inside half court at the buzzer to give Miami a 31-30 advantage.
Wade bruised his hip with about four minutes left in the first quarter in a collision with Dallas forward Brian Cardinal, who was trying to take a charge. Wade returned early in the second quarter and limped for the rest of the half.
He missed most of the third period and the Mavericks led 84-79 entering the fourth quarter.
“I’ll be good for Game 6,” Wade told reporters. “No problem at all.”
Allowing the Mavericks to score easy baskets in the first half gave them the confidence they needed to hit hard ones late in the game, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said.
“If you’re given good shots during the course of the game, you can make tough shots down the stretch,” he said at a news conference.