For much of the game there were signs that this would become the more attack-oriented cousin of the first. The Mavericks defended the key a lot tighter this time around, which led to more open looks for Miami from outside the arc (ie, attempting 30 shots) as the expense of an improved rebound game.
But from the second quarter it was the Heat who looked like they were about to run away with it, holding onto a double-digit lead after exploding with a run of 15-1. However, the Mavericks finally started making some stops and brought the game level again with about a minute to go.
It was the class of Dirk Nowitzki hitting a clutch three-pointer with about 47 seconds left that looked to have had the game sealed at 93-90. But off Jason Terry's poor perimeter defence that let Mario Chalmers coolly equalise 16 seconds out. To end the game, however, it was Nowitzki that stepped up, breezing past Chris Bosh to sink the final layup with his injured hand.
For around half of the game, the Miami Heat looked like the better team, employing a very high-pressure man-on defence that hustled well and forced the Dallas guards into some costly turnovers.
Dwyane Wade was the chief weapon of mass destruction, sinking 36 points with LeBron looking quieter on 20.
I was right about Kidd: Dallas started using him more when it counted. Meanwhile, he totalled six points, eight rebounds, and five assists, not quite the triple-double I had him in for. Jason Terry was rubbish until he needed to step up, picking up eight points in the fourth quarter (for a total of 16, so my Bold Prediction wasn't quite right). Between them they gave away seven turnovers, something that should really be rectified come Game Three.
What I want to talk about for now is Tyson Chandler. This time he picked up seven rebounds and 13 points on his way to looking much more dominant this time around. The other thing of note was the powerful screen he gave Nowitzki when he shot from the arc to take the lead. Meanwhile, Dallas had 11 offensive rebounds to six this time.
- Personally, I think that Dallas will win the Texas series 2-1. I wouldn't be too surprised by a Game Seven. But I think that Dallas will now go on to win the series because of this comeback. They now have a psychological edge as well as the advantage of having stolen a game.
- Dallas REALLY needs to find a way to limit Wade's impact. They seriously struggled to contain him for pretty much the entire match. If they can do that without Shawn Marion, they could well go on a three-game winning streak.
- Miami's athleticism really began to shine through. Their tight defence led to some easy transitionpoints (honestly, I think that even I could dunk on JJ Barea). Watch for more of the same.
- It's also worth noting that Miami were dismal from the charity stripe. They'll come back with marked improvement for the rest of the series.
- I'm sticking by my claim that no side will win a game by more than 15 points.
Game Three Bold Prediction
I'm sticking with the Jason Terry comeback for 20+ points.