Game 1 of the NBA Finals was an extremely tight encounter for about 45 minutes. Unfortunately for the Dallas Mavericks, basketball games are 48 minutes long. Those final three-plus minutes were absolutely dominated by the Miami Heat, and as a result they have taken Game 1 by a final score of 92-84 in a game that was much closer than the scoreboard indicates.
None of the 'Big Three' were dominant for the entire duration of the game, but all three had good games and were dominant in spurts. LeBron James and Chris Bosh were the best players on the court in the first half, while Dwyane Wade was fantastic in the second half. In particular, the final six minutes of the game were the Dwyane Wade show as the guard looked like the best shooter, creator, and perimeter defender on the floor. His 22 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, and two blocks look impressive without any context, but they're even more impressive when it's taken into consideration that Wade was poor in the first half.
Dirk Nowitzki was solid on offense with 27 points while Shawn Marion put in a solid complete performance, but the Mavericks team as a whole struggled. Everyone struggled on offense throughout the game as the Heat put in a fantastic performance on that end, but it wasn't until the very end when the team struggled defensively. Wade's three-point shot with three minutes remaining in the game was a virtual dagger, and it lead to further defensive breakdowns, culminating in some emphatic dunks down the stretch that Miami simply wasn't creating in the first 45 minutes of the game.
The Heat improve to 9-0 at home in the playoffs and they will likely be extremely confident headed into Thursday night's Game 2 at American Airlines Arena.
For live coverage of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, keep it tuned to this StoryStream. To see the up-to-the-minute score, along with information from around SB Nation on the game, keep your browser on this Heat-Mavs score page. Throughout the NBA Finals, check out our 2011 NBA Finals hub for more coverage. For more on the two teams, Mavericks fans should head over to Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas, while Heat fans should check out Peninsula Is Mightier.