After blowing a big lead in Game 2 to allow the Dallas Mavericks to tie the series, the Miami Heat bounced back with a big 88-86 win in Big D to take a 2-1 lead and reclaim home-court advantage in the NBA Finals.
Superstar Dwayne Wade led the Heat with 29 points and 11 rebounds in Game 3, which he claimed was a must-win game for his club. “We felt you can’t lose a game like [the Heat lost Game 2] and then lose the next,” said Wade. “We felt this was a must win.”
Recent NBA history echoes Wade’s setniments. Since the Finals went to a 2-3-2 format in 1985, all 11 times the series was split after the first two games, the team that won Game 3 went on to win the championship.
Chris Bosh had 18 points for the Heat, including the final bucket that put the Heat up 88-86 in the final minute. Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki scored his team’s final 12 points, but missed a last-second shot that could have forced overtime. “The look with four seconds to go, I think was as good as you can get,” said Nowitzki, who had 34 points in the game and 15 in the final quarter. “[Miami's Udonis Haslem] has fronted me everywhere trying to keep the ball out of my hands. . . . He stayed down and made me shoot a contested shot. A shot I can make but it didn’t go.”