In an offensive slugfest the Dallas Mavericks closed the game on a 15-3 run to defeat the Miami Heat 112-103 and take a 3-2 lead in the NBA Finals as the series shifts to Miami. As usual, Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 29 points, including a perfect 10-for-10 from the foul line. Dwyane Wade came back from a hip injury to lead Miami with 23 points while LeBron James contributed a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Dallas won with solid contributions from everyone seeing playing action. J.J. Barea, getting his second consecutive start, had by far his best game of the finals. Barea, who only scored 21 points in the first four games on 1-for-10 three-point shooting, came up huge. He penetrated at will, limited his turnovers and hit his shots. Barea ended the night with 17 points on 4-for-5 from downtown, five assists and only one turnover. Jason Terry scored 21 points including a late desperation three-pointer at the end of the shot clock to clinch the victory. Terry was also solid with the ball, making the right decisions and dished six assists including two nice pick-and-rolls to Tyson Chandler. Chandler was solid on defense late with two big blocks and ended the night with 13 points and seven boards. Jason Kidd had three steals, six assists and 10 points as he recovered from a scoreless Game Four.
Game Five was unlike the first four games as both teams were able to score and shoot very well from outside. No team had scored 30 points in a quarter in the series but both did it tonight as Miami held a 31-30 halftime lead after Mario Chalmers hit his third long shot at the end of a quarter. At halftime Dallas was shooting 66 percent, better than any other team in any half in the entire playoffs. Both teams shot over 50 percent for the game with the Mavericks hitting 68.4 percent (13-for-19) of their three-pointers. Miami's bench contributed 40 points as Mario Chalmers and Mike Miller combined to shoot 7-for-10 on three-pointers.
Wade suffered a bruised hip on a collision with Brian Cardinal in the first quarter. He was treated, returned to the game but missed the first six minutes of the second half before emerging from the locker room. He returned and played the remainder of the game. The Mavericks led 60-57 at the half, extended the lead to 80-71 and finished the third quarter ahead 84-79. Trailing 88-81 the Heat came back, led by the pinpoint playmaking of James and Wade. Udonis Haslem was fed inside for three easy baskets, Wade hit a three from the top of the key and Miami had a 99-95 lead with 4:37 left in the game. The Heat could only score three points the rest of the game as they could not execute their offense effectively. In the last 4:37 Miami had three turnovers, was 0-for-4 from outside and had two shots blocked. Meanwhile Dallas shot 4-for-6, including two three-pointers from Terry and one from Kidd. The Mavericks were 12-for-13 from the foul stripe in the final stanza.
Dallas won despite being out-rebounded 36-26. They won the turnover battle with only 11 while the Heat lost the ball 16 times. Once again the team that was able to execute their offense at the end of the game was the winner. Dallas has won 6-of-7 of their last road games in the playoffs. They just need 1-of-2 in Miami to be crowned champions. It should be an exciting Sunday night.
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