Faced with the prospect of going down 3-1, the Dallas Mavericks face a virtual must-win tonight as they battle the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Tip-off in Dallas is set for 8:00. Here is more from the AP and espn.com, followed by more blogging from Scott.

The finals have had consecutive games decided by two or fewer points for the first time since 1998, according to research provided to the NBA by the Elias Sports Bureau. So even when his team is building those sizable gaps, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra doesn't expect them to last, adding that regret over not having the 3-0 lead is "wasted energy."

The same could be said for the Mavericks in regards to a potential 2-1 lead. Dallas must get production when Dirk Nowitzki is on the bench. In the first 3 games of the series, the Mavericks are -31 when Dirk isn't on the floor.

Miami seemed to move on quite well from a disappointing collapse in Game 2. They seemed energized and focused in Game 3. What will their body language be tonight? It's hard to say. Nobody has been able to get a real read on this series, as momentum from game to game seems to be nonexistent.

Personally, I'd love to see a Mavericks win tonight. With the Conference Finals both going only 5 games, I really want to see a long, competitive series. If Miami wins tonight, that virtually goes to the wayside. There is no way the Mavericks can win 3 straight games against the Heat, which is why they can ill afford to lose tonight.