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James came in talking about being more aggressive, but wasn't. He went more than 6 minutes before taking his first shot, but certainly made it worth the wait -- a drive through the teeth of the defense for a powerful dunk. He also had a two-handed jam in the second half that put Miami up by 13.
He finished with 17 points and nine assists. He also had four turnovers, including a pair during the fourth quarter -- not counting the shot-clock violation -- that helped bring Dallas back.
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.
"We have to have somebody step up besides Dirk," said Jason Kidd, who had nine points and 10 assists, but also four turnovers. Giveaways haunted Dallas throughout the game, especially the first half, helping keep Miami comfortably ahead. "We have to figure out how to get up front and play up front. The big thing is we've got to be able to make plays late in the game. Game 2 we made the plays, Game 3 we just didn't."
Dallas was without backup center Brendan Haywood because of a hip injury. His absence meant more minutes for several frontcourt players, and it put Ian Mahinmi on the court for 8 minutes. He scored two points and committed five fouls.
Miami led by seven after the first quarter, the final three points coming on a buzzer-beater by Mario Chalmers. The Heat lead hit 14 in the second quarter, dipped to five at halftime then ran back to 13 early in the third quarter.
But the Heat couldn't put the Mavs away. Dallas would surge close or ahead, then Miami would turn it up again. The final 18 minutes played out with both teams realizing any possession could change the game and the series.
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.
"Now we just have to move on," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "The tough part right now is amnesia. Both teams are highly competitive, this is a competitive series as you can see. We have to really gather ourselves in 48 hours and get right back and do this again."
NOTES: Bosh on his injured eye: "We'll spit on it and put a Band-Aid on it and patch it up later." ... 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. ... Bosh was booed as much as any Miami player during pregame introductions. So much for fans cutting the local kid some slack. ... The Mavs fell to 2-1 this postseason in games officiated by Dan Crawford. Dallas came into this postseason having lost 16 of its last 17 playoff games he worked. ... Aikman and Terrell Owens sat about 10 seats apart on the same row. Owens attended games in Miami, too.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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