|Written by Michael|
And it is always a very bad idea to start celebrating a huge lead over the Mavericks late in the game – just ask the Thunder and Kevin Durant about that. But that is exactly the situation the Miami Heat and their fans found themselves in last night in Game Two of the NBA Finals – the Heat blew a 15-point lead with less than eight minutes to play, and the Mavs walked out with the win.
There have been two aspects of the Mavericks' game and the Heat's game that were bound to collide sometime in the playoffs. The Heat showed in their series' with Boston and Chicago that they could find another gear in the fourth quarter and bury teams, as long as they hung around the first three quarters. They routinely stay in the game and keep it just close enough, and then clamp down on defense, and the LeBron-Wade show takes over the scoring from there, usually leading to a victory.
But the Mavericks are undoutbedly the best team at coming back from late-game deficits, especially when they see the guys on the other team celebrating before the end of regulation. The rally against the Heat was even more impressive than the one they staged in Game Four against the Thunder, where they were down by 15, tied it in regulation, and won the game in overtime. After the Heat went up by 15, just like the Thunder, they went cold, only making one more field goal from there to the end.
Trying to run out the clock against the Mavericks is possibly the worst idea, and that seemed to be the strategy Miami went for. They started holding the ball for far too long, settling for long jumpers from James or Wade with only seconds left on the shot clock. Poor shot selection gave Dallas a chance to claw their way back into the game, with Dirk Nowitzki finally tying it at 90 with 57 left on the game clock. From there, Dallas held out for a 95-93 win.
Miami came out of the halftime break on fire, running away with a 29-10 run which started in the second quarter. The Heat were getting out in transition, showcasing dunk after dunk by James and Wade. Game Three will be played on Sunday in Dallas. The Mavericks are the -3 point favorites to win at home, with the total set at 187.5.