Mavs Make Epic Comeback, Win Game 2
The Dallas Mavericks were down 88-73 with under 7 minutes left in regulation. It appeared the Mavs would go back to Dallas down 2-0, but then they went on a 22-5 run to end the game, stunning the Miami Heat 95-93 to even the NBA Finals at one game apiece. Dirk Nowitzki scored the last 9 points for the Mavericks, with two of his last three buckets coming courtesy of his injured left hand. Here is more from the AP and espn.com, followed by more blogging from Scott.
Jason Terry, largely silent since the first half of Game 1, fueled the comeback with a couple of jumpers and finished with 16 points. Shawn Marion had 20 points for the Mavericks, who had lost four straight finals games in Miami since taking a 2-0 lead in the 2006 series.
They were about to go down 2-0 this time before Nowitzki, who insisted his injured finger wouldn't hinder him, led a rally even more amazing than the one that won Game 4 of the Western Conference finals, when the Mavs trailed Oklahoma City by 15 in the fourth quarter before pulling it out in overtime.
Wow. Words can't describe the Mavericks comeback in Game 2. When Dwyane Wade hit a 3 pointer to put his team up by 15 with 7:15 to go, it appeared the Heat were going to sail to a dominant Game 2 victory. Then, inexplicably, Miami began attempting one long jumper after another. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade didn't drive into the paint. A missed layup by James marked the only time the Heat drove to the lane in the final 6:19. That, coupled with ice cold shooting helped the Mavs complete their epic comeback.
Aside from Miami's faults, Dallas deserves all the credit in the world for their stunning comeback. The Mavericks have showed their mental toughness all postseason. A Mavericks team prior to this 2010-2011 version would have thrown in the red towel. This year's Mavericks are different. Led by Dirk Nowitzki, they play until the final buzzer. Tyson Chandler has been credited with bringing a new and improved attitude to his team. He was outstanding on Thursday night, finishing with 13 points and 7 rebounds (4 offensive). However, he was most effective with his picks. Dirk's late 3 which gave Dallas a 93-90 lead was setup by a heads up pick on the fly by Chandler.
Game 2 was truly one of the most incredible comebacks in NBA Finals history. The last team to erase a 15 point deficit in the 4th quarter of an NBA Finals game was the 1992 Chicago Bulls. They trailed the Trail Blazers 79-64, only to come back and win. Chicago won that series 4-2.
Games 3, 4, and 5 now shift to Dallas. Game 3 is Sunday, with a 7:00 scheduled tip-off.