The old saying in the NBA playoffs is that a series doesn't begin until somebody wins on the other teams home court. Well, if that's the case, then this Finals series has finally begun after the Dallas Mavericks capped a furious fourth quarter rally with a 95-93 win that left Miami stunned and bewildered.
Down 15 points midway though the fourth, it looked like Dallas was going home down 2 games and in Finals history, that usually spells doom. Things got so bad for Dallas that even the usually good natured Dwayne Wade was gloating and relishing Miami's good fortune, showboating in front of the Mavs bench after capping off a 13-0 run by the Heat.
Maybe Miami should have asked Oklahoma City about the error of counting the Mavs out.
Spurred on by Wade's antics, the Mavericks woke up and went on a furious 22-5 run to get back into the game and it was the much-talked about injured left hand of Dirk Nowitzki that sealed the deal with a running layup to take the lead with 3 seconds left. One missed Dwayne Wade three later and this series is finally interesting.
"You can just sense it in us that we weren't going to give up, we were going to be resilient," Dallas guard Jason Terry said.
For the Heat, it looks like their coronation has to be put on hold after they reverted to early season form in allowing the Mavs to take game 2. They couldn't hit a shot late and they couldn't stop the Mavs from having their way down the stretch. If the Mavs go on to win this series, then this is the turning point and the one that will not be long forgotten by any Miami player.
"We just didn't execute down the stretch," Bosh said. "There's no shock. There's disappointment. But the reality is the reality. We might as well get used to it and focus on the next one."
And the next one is set to tip off Sunday night at Dallas and one thing is for certain, you won't see a Heat player showboating in front of the Dallas bench, not that they admitted they were celebrating.
"There was no celebration at all. I was excited about the fact that he hit a big shot and we went up 15." James said.
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