Basketball: Mavericks come back to grab equaliser 86-83
Published: 4:45PM Wednesday June 08, 2011 Source: Reuters
The Dallas Mavericks used some fourth-quarter fireworks to overcome a 32-point performance by Dwyane Wade and defeat the Miami Heat 86-83 today to square the best-of-seven NBA Finals at 2-2.
Dallas, urged on by a raucous crowd of 20,000, got 10 points from an ailing Dirk Nowitzki to overcome a nine-point deficit in the final eight minutes.
Two foul shots by guard Jason Terry with less than 7 seconds left gave the Mavericks an 86-83 lead.
After a time out, Wade fumbled the in-bounds pass and shoveled the ball to Mike Miller, who missed a desperation 28-footer.
Nowitzki finished with 21 points but hit only six of 19 shots from the floor.
"He was battling 100-something fever, the doctors tried to keep it down and they couldn't get it under control," Mavericks center Tyson Chandler said of Nowitzki.
"Just the effort he gave us tonight was unbelievable. He showed a lot of heart.
"We all saw him go through it, he was barely able to talk. Every time he tried to talk he would cough, he was wheezing. We knew as a supporting cast we had to step up and get it."
LeBron James had another sub-par game on offense, finishing with eight points on three of 11 shooting.
The two-times MVP winner had nine rebounds and seven assists but the Heat turned to Chris Bosh to help Wade on offense, the first-year Heat forward scoring 24 points in the loss.
Nowitzki helped the Mavericks turn a 74-65 deficit into an five-points lead with just over two minutes left.
"It wasn't 103, but it was like 101 this morning," Nowitzki said of his fever. "I didn't really have a good night's rest, so it was just under the weather a little bit, but just battle it out.
"It didn't look good there in the fourth quarter when we were down nine, but energy and defense really picked us up."
Wade hit one of two foul shots with 30 seconds left to trim the lead to 82-81 and Nowitzki countered with a lay-up despite tight defense by Udonis Haslem.
"I was going to play the clock down but I saw a little opening so I just went for it," said Nowitzki. "I was able to rip through and go to the right and finally finished a layup.
"I missed about four or five good looks around the rim today."
Dallas host Game Five on Thursday.
Other Sports Video
Copyright © 2011, Television New Zealand Limited. Breaking and Daily News, Sport & Weather | TV ONE, TV2 | Ondemand