Tuesday , Jun , 13 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Heat, Mavericks resume NBA Finals in Miami

(Sports Network) – The NBA Finals resume tonight in Miami, as the Dallas
Mavericks try to take a commanding 3-0 lead over the Heat in the best-of-seven

After winning the opener of the set 90-80 at American Airlines Center, the
Mavericks picked up a very impressive win in Game 2. On Sunday, Dirk Nowitzki
finished with a game-high 26 points and 16 rebounds as Dallas cruised to a
99-85 win over the Heat in front of its home crowd and grabbed a 2-0 advantage
in the series.

Veteran Jerry Stackhouse scored 19 off the bench and Jason Terry contributed
16 points and tied a career playoff-high with nine assists in Game 2’s victory
for the Mavericks. Josh Howard netted 15, while Devin Harris had 11 points in
the win.

Dwyane Wade paced the Heat with 23 points and eight boards in the loss, but
shot only 6-of-19 from the floor. Antoine Walker finished 4-of-7 from beyond
the arc and ended with 20 points for Miami, while Jason Williams and Alonzo
Mourning both contributed 11 points in the contest.

Shaquille O’Neal had a personal playoff-low with five points on 2-of-5
shooting from the field and 1-of-7 from the line for the Heat.

Heat forward Udonis Haslem missed the entire second half with a bruised left
shoulder. He is probable for tonight’s contest.

Game 4 of the series is scheduled for Thursday at AmericanAirlines Arena. Game
5 (if necessary) would be played on Sunday in Miami.

Dallas is 6-3 as the visitor in the year’s playoffs, while Miami is an
impressive 8-1 at home.

No team has comeback from a 2-0 deficit in the NBA Finals since the NBA went
to a 2-3-2 format for the games.

The Heat won the Southeast Division during the regular season, as they
finished 10 games ahead of the second place Washington Wizards. Miami
dismissed the Chicago Bulls in six games in round one of the playoffs, ousted
the New Jersey Nets in five in the conference semis and ended Detroit’s two-
year reign as Eastern Conference champions by beating the Pistons, who knocked
out the Heat in seven games during the 2004-05 conference finals, in six in
the East finals.

Dallas reached the 60-win mark for the second time in franchise history during
the regular season. The Mavericks finished 60-22 in the 2002-03 campaign, but
were eliminated in six games by San Antonio in the conference finals. They
battled with the Spurs all season for first place in the Southwest Division
and the top spot in the West, but were not able to overcome San Antonio in the
end. The Mavs finished three games behind the Spurs in the standings.

The road to the NBA Finals was a wild and entertaining one for the
Mavericks. They swept No. 5 Memphis in the first round and then defeated the
top-seeded and defending world champion Spurs in seven games in the semis. In
the conference finals, Dallas knocked out reigning MVP Steve Nash and the
second-seeded Phoenix Suns in six games.

During the regular season, Dallas defeated the Heat twice. The Mavericks
picked up 103-90 victory on November 25, 2005 on the road and crushed
Miami, 112-76, on February 9th in front of their home crowd.