DALLAS, TX - JUNE 05: Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat reacts late in the fourth quarter before the Heat defeated the Dallas Mavericks 88-86 in Game Three of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center on June 5, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Heat Vs. Mavericks, Game 3: Miami Avoids Blowing Another Late Lead, Takes 2-1 Series Advantage

Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks had the chance to once again complete a comeback and shock the Heat but this time it was not to be. The Heat regain the series lead behind Dwayne Wade's 29-point performance.

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Heat Vs. Mavericks: Chris Bosh Eye Deemed OK, Brendan Haywood Injury More Serious

Chris Bosh suffered a poke to his eye in the Miami Heat's Game 3 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night. Despite serious redness and weeping, Bosh managed to play out the game, eventually hitting the game-winning 18-foot jumper to give the Heat a 2-1 NBA Finals lead over the Mavs.

At media availability on Monday, Bosh still had bloodshot eyes, but said his vision remains OK and that there seem to be no serious problems suffered from the blow.

Mavericks center Brendan Haywood might be in more dire straights, as a hip injury that knocked him out of Game 3 early continues to bother him. He told reporters he's not sure if he'd be able to play if Game 4 were today, and no decision has been made on his availability for Tuesday's crucial Game 4. Without Haywood and with starter Tyson Chandler playing relatively poorly, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle had to rely on Ian Mahinmi for stretches.

Mahinmi has been buried on Carlisle's bench all postseason; playing help defense on a driving LeBron James in the Finals is no way to be introduced to the NBA Playoffs. Mahinmi was overmatched, and Dallas is in trouble if it has to count on him going forward, especially with Chandler's impact relatively limited.

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Heat Vs. Mavericks: Game 3 Ratings Continue 2011 NBA Finals Surge

Ratings for the Miami Heat's Game 3 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night were the highest of the 2011 NBA Finals to date, and according to an ESPN press release were the second-highest for a Game 3 since 2004. ESPN reports that Game 3, which featured a Mavericks comeback led by (who else?) Dirk Nowitzki but saw Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh batten the hatches, did an overnight rating of 11.1, best on all of television on Sunday.

That figured trailed Game 3 last year between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. The 2011 Finals had beaten 2010's efforts in each of the first two games. The 2001 Finals between the Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers and the 2004 Finals between the Lakers and Detroit Pistons remain the highest-rated post-Jordan Finals; the 2011 Finals look to exceed the 2010 championship series, but may not catch 2001 or 2004.

What's not in question is that the 2011 Finals are blowing away the 2006 Dallas-Miami series in the Nielsens. ESPN reported that Sunday's game was up 23 percent from 2006's Game 3, which featured an improbable Heat comeback led by Wade. Miami went on to win four straight games and the championship.

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VIDEO: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh Lead Highlights Of Heat's Game 3 Win Over Mavericks

Here are the video highlights for Sunday night's thrilling Game 3 of the 2011 NBA Finals. As you probably know by now, the Miami Heat edged the Dallas Mavericks, 88-86, thanks to a jumper by Chris Bosh and a buzzer-beating attempt by Dirk Nowitzki that barely missed. Dwyane Wade led the way for the Heat on the court, and LeBron James provided the game's signature highlight when he dunked on Ian Mahinmi in the first quarter.

Here are the full game highlights

The two dunks by James in the first quarter certainly were the most awe-inspiring highlights of the game, but the final play that ended in a Bosh jumper may have been the prettiest. It was a textbook basketball play by all involved. The Heat ran a pick and roll with James screening for Wade. Wade drew the double team and found James, who made a beautiful pass to Bosh in the corner for the jumper. Bosh was open because Udonis Haslem set a great screen to prevent the Mavericks from contesting the shot.

For full series coverage, check out our Heat vs. Mavericks hub. For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier. For more on the Mavericks, visit Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.

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Heat Vs. Mavericks: Grading LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, And Other Game 3 Heroes

The Miami Heat survived Game 3 in Dallas despite a huge night for Dirk Nowitzki. How did it happen? Take a closer look at Game 3's heroes, from LeBron to Wade to Bosh to that clumsy courtside fan.

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Heat Vs. Mavericks: Chris Bosh Comes Through With Game-Winner After Eye Injury

Chris Bosh hasn't had a very good 2011 NBA Finals, and that trend continued through most of Game 3. He had shot just 6-17 from the field and had just three rebounds approaching the final minute of the game. Earlier in the fourth quarter, he passed up an open jumper as the shot clock ran down, which eventually led to a 24-second violation. But all that was forgotten when Bosh nailed a 17-foot jumper with 39.6 seconds left that eventually provided the final margin in an 88-86 Miami Heat victory.

It's hard to say Bosh truly "redeemed himself," since he really just hit a wide open 17-foot jumper that was set up by a great pass by LeBron James and a vicious screen by Udonis Haslem, but it was a big shot nevertheless. It was particularly big because Bosh was battling a really bad eye injury that came when Jason Kidd inadvertently poked him in the first quarter. Bosh stayed down on the floor for two possessions, and when he popped back up and looked OK, most people wrote it off as Bosh acting. But as it turned out, his eye was very swollen, and it probably affected his play.

When asked about it after the game, Bosh wasn't in the mood to play around. Via ESPN's Tom Haberstroh:

How did his eye feel at the time? 

"Open your eye like this," Bosh said after the game, spreading his eye lid open with his left hand. "I'll poke you in it."     

An eye injury can't explain Bosh shooting 31 percent in the series as a whole, but it can explain a lot of what happened in Game 3. The Heat never lost confidence in Bosh, and he rewarded their faith in the game's biggest moment.

For full series coverage, check out our Heat vs. Mavericks hub. For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier. For more on the Mavericks, visit Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.

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Heat Vs. Mavericks: J.J. Barea Nowhere To Be Found In NBA Finals

J.J. Barea, the diminutive Puerto Rican guard who'd become such a star in these playoffs after dominant performance off the bench for the Dallas Mavericks, was considered a matchup problem for the Miami Heat heading into the NBA Finals. Dallas has superior depth, and Miami lacks much in power beyond the team's three All-Stars. Barea, who killed the L.A. Lakers especially on pick-and-roll action, was considered a major threat to repeat the feat against Miami.

So much for all of that. Barea scored all of six points in Game 3, shooting 2-8 from the floor. And that was his best game of the Finals to date. (He also had one assist and four turnovers.) In Dallas' Game 2 win, Barea contributed five points on 2-7 shooting; in Game 1, he shot 1-8 for two points. Barea's inability to hit buckets has contributed to Dallas having only a small series lead in bench points (65-57).

Mario Chalmers had drawn a good share of defensive responsibility on Barea; the Heat's starting point guard Mike Bibby might be more easily exploitable, but he's left guard Dallas starter Jason Kidd while Chalmers ends up playing more down the stretch and keeping the locks on Barea.

The Heat have also worked extraordinarily hard to shut down the pass to Dirk Nowitzki on the pick-and-roll/pick-and-pop, and that's what Barea really thrived in against L.A.

For more on the Mavericks and Barea, visit Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.

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Heat Vs. Mavs, Game 3: Dirk Nowitzki's Shot Falls Short, Miami Take Critical Series Lead

Chris Bosh buried the go-ahead jumper with 39.6 seconds left Sunday, and the Miami Heat survived another late shot from Dirk Nowitzki to beat Dallas, 88-86, and take a 2-1 series lead in the NBA Finals.

Heat blog Peninsula Is Mightier saw a lot of similarities between the way Udonis Haslem defended Dirk's final shot and a previous series-changing play.

He would one more chance with 4.4 seconds left, but Udonis Haslem played superb defense and while we've seen Nowitzki made tough looks before, this one didn't fall and the Heat came away with the amazingly stressful victory.  Udonis played him so close that he had barely any room to move, but didn't foul, very similar to the way he played Derrick Rose on that last play in the Eastern Conference Finals.

As noted just about everywhere, the team that wins Game 3 after being tied 1-1 in the NBA Finals has won eleven of eleven times since the league went 2-3-2. So how will the Mavericks be able to buck that trend? Mavs Moneyball ponders.

The Mavericks need to win three of their next four, with two on the road. It sounds tough, but it doesn't sound impossible. The Mavericks have made adjustments all season and especially postseason, they just have to find what it is. The Heat make it hard, but even I can see some weaknesses that Dallas can gameplan around even more to exploit. You might want to look for an article about a couple of Miami weaknesses coming up tomorrow or Tuesday. Until then, just stay off the ledge. It worked for Miami fans in 2006.

For more coverage of Game 3, stay up-to-date with 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.

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Heat Vs. Mavs, Final Score: Wade, Miami Survive Dirk's Comeback In Game 3, Win 88-86

The story sounds familiar. The only thing different about Game 3 between the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals is how it ended.

After leading Dallas back in a massive comeback, Dirk Nowitzki had the ball and the shot with four seconds remaining and the Mavs down two. Unlike Game 2, Dirk missed this one and the Miami Heat won the game, 88-86. The Heat now take a 2-1 series lead and history is on their side since no team has ever won Game 3 after being tied 1-1 and then lost in the Finals.

Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 29 points and 11 rebounds. LeBron James had an off-night, scoring 17, while Chris Bosh added 18.

Dirk led the Mavs with 34 points and 11 boards in the losing effort. Jason Terry scored 15 off the bench.

For more coverage of Game 3, stay up-to-date with 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.

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Heat Vs. Mavs Score, Game 3: Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki Still Battling In Dallas

The Dallas Mavericks enter the fourth quarter down 67-64 to the Miami Heat, which might not be enough of a deficit to spur Dallas into their traditional late-game heroics. The decisive NBA Finals Game 3 has taken a defensive turn, with both teams shooting right around 40 percent after an explosive first quarter.

Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki remain the high scorers, with 22 and 19 respectively. If the Mavs can hang on to the ball -- they've turned it over 10 times already -- they'll have a chance to establish a series advantage and put a heap of pressure on a team that has rarely shown it can handle it.

For live coverage of Game 3, stay up-to-date with 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.

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Heat Vs. Mavericks Game 3 Update: Dallas Forces Tie In Third Quarter

The Dallas Mavericks completed a ridiculous minute of basketball that saw them cut another double-digit Miami Heat lead to nothing. Both teams are snarled at 57 points apiece with about four minutes left in the third quarter after a Dirk Nowitzki fadeaway and Shawn Marion breakaway.

Nowitzki is up to 19 points, close to Dwyane Wade's 21. Jason Kidd has scored nine points and pitched seven assists. LeBron James has been held to just 10 points on four-of-10 shooting, with Chris Bosh making himself pretty much invisible overall.

For live coverage of Game 3, stay up-to-date with 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.


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Heat Vs. Mavs Score, Game 3: Dallas Pulls Within Five After Trailing By 14

The Dallas Mavericks got hot at the end of the second quarter, ensuring they wouldn't take a double-digit deficit against the Miami Heat into the locker room. Dallas is down 47-42 with 24 minutes left in Game 3.

Dwyane Wade has been unstoppable at times, barreling to the basket over and over on his way to 19 early points, missing just five of his 13 attempts from the floor. Dallas fans are having flashbacks.

Dirk Nowitzki has found opportunities at both ends of the floor after not having much of a presence in the first quarter, turning in 10 points, five boards and three blocks so far.

For live coverage of Game 3, stay up-to-date with 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.

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Heat Vs. Mavericks Game 3 Update: Miami Leads At End Of First Quarter

The Miami Heat overcame a dizzying start by the Dallas Mavericks to take a 29-22 lead into the first buzzer, with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James leading the way at eight points each. The score was tight Miami closed out the quarter with a string of highlights in the final minute; Mario Chalmers drained a buzzer-beating three from nearly half court shortly after James hammered home a tomahawk in traffic.

 The home team's hot hand ended the quarter connecting on only half of its shots. Dirk Nowitzki has found space to attempt just two shots from the floor, putting up only a pair of points so far.

For live coverage of Game 3, stay up-to-date with 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.

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Heat Vs. Mavs Score: Chris Bosh Down, And So Is Miami

Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh appeared to take some sort of shot to the eye while driving towards the rim about halfway through the first quarter of the 2011 NBA Finals' Game 3, moving his hands to his head while in the air and lying heaped on the deck as game action occurred elsewhere. The Heat called a time out, down 14-9, to give Bosh a chance to walk it off.

Though Dwyane Wade has six points already, that's -- well, that's just about Miami's entire attack so far. The Dallas Mavericks are led by Jason Kidd's five points plus a dime. So far Dallas has hit only two of its seven field goal attempts, and this American Airlines [insert venue name] crowd is fired up.

Bosh returned to the floor after the time out.

For live coverage of Game 3, stay up-to-date with 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.

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Heat Vs. Mavericks: Brendan Haywood Ruled Out For Game 3

Though Dallas Mavericks reserve center Brendan Haywood was listed as a game-time decision for Game 3 of the 2011 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat, head coach Rick Carlisle announced an hour before game time that Haywood will not play on Sunday night, reports David Aldridge.

With Haywood out, the Mavericks will need Tyson Chandler to stay out of foul trouble and hope that 24-year-old Ian Mahinmi can step up after receiving limited playing time during the regular season and the playoffs. SB Nation Dallas offers some thoughts on what this means:

He will have to keep from getting too amped up as he has a tendency to pick up quick fouls. Which puts a ton of pressure on Chandler to stay out of foul trouble. If Chandler is not able to stay out of foul trouble, the Mavericks will have to go small and that has proved to be disastrous against the Heat through two games.

Tip-off is scheduled for shortly after 8 p.m. ET. Tune into ABC to see how the Mavericks respond.

For live coverage of Game 3, stay up-to-date with 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.

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Heat Vs. Mavericks Game 3: TV Schedule, Tip-Off Time And More

Will the Dallas Mavericks carry their momentum from Game 2 over to Game 3 of the 2011 NBA Finals (ABC, 8 p.m. ET) against the Miami Heat? After grabbing a victory in the second game with just six minutes left and down by 15 points, Dirk Nowitzki helped Dallas give Miami its first home playoff loss in 2011. After a 9-0 start at home, will the Heat wilt in Dallas? Tune into your local affiliate at 8 p.m. ET to find out, with tip-off coming a little bit later.

Mavs Moneyball did some number-crunching after Game 2 to see which team had the toughest road to the finals:

This basically is what you've been told before the Finals. It's Dallas['s] Offense vs. Miami[']s Defense and both numbers are beyond impressive . . . So I was right: The performance of the Mavs in the playoffs has been more impressive thus far. This is basically the same approach Wayne Winston used here to predict the outcome of the NBA Finals. He has the Mavs as 65% favorites.

SB Nation Dallas ponders several questions, including Brendan Haywood's possible absence, but ultimately questions which team will control the game down the stretch:

The Mavericks will have all the momentum after stunning the Heat and stealing game two. But the Heat will come out focused and attacking and it would not surprise me if they take an early lead in this game. The Mavericks have not played [their] best basketball and yet were able to manage a split. There is not much separating these two teams and game three will likely come down to execution down the stretch.

Will tonight's game continue to pinball this series?

Our Heat blog, Peninsula Is Mightier, questions the efficacy of the current finals schedule format:

Most of the time you would be hoping that the Heat could do the same thing that their opponent did, leaving town with a split and re-gaining home court advantage, but that isn't possible in the Finals.  Why?  Because for some reason the NBA still uses the 2-3-2 schedule in the final round.  I don't know one person that prefers that to the 2-2-1-1-1 setup that is used during the first three rounds, but who knows if the league will ever wise up and get with the times.

If home court advantage means anything in this series, a three-game stint in Dallas will likely provide the answer.

Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

For live coverage of Game 3, stay up-to-date with 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.

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Heat Vs. Mavericks, Game 3: Dallas' Brendan Haywood A Game-Time Decision

The Dallas Mavericks will likely be without reserve center Brendan Haywood when they play the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the 2011 NBA Finals on Sunday night. He is listed as a game-time decision with a strained hip flexor, but the team will prepare as though he will not see the court.

How will the Mavericks compensate if Haywood is unable to play? The 6-foot-11 Ian Mahinmi could see extensive time as Tyson Chandler's backup, but he averaged less than nine minutes per game in the regular season and 3.1 points. In the postseason, he's played in just three games.

The alternative is playing with a smaller lineup, but SB Nation Dallas points out what happened to the Mavericks when they did that in Game 2:

[...] the last stretch during which Dallas went without a center was the early part of the fourth quarter in Game two. They found the lead stretched from four to 15 points during those five minutes. They went back to Chandler and immediately began their comeback.

A smaller lineup or the untested Mahinmi, the Mavericks will need someone to step up on defense when Chandler is on the bench.

For full series coverage, check out our Heat vs. Mavericks hub. For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier. For more on the Mavericks, visit Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.

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Heat Vs. Mavericks, Game 3: LeBron James, Miami Look To Rebound From Dallas Comeback

The Miami Heat were minutes away from taking a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, holding a 15-point lead with just over half of the fourth quarter to go. Everything had seemingly gone right for Miami, as the team's sterling defense had held up for the second time against Dallas' kismet attack, and it's offense was clicking (even as Chris Bosh struggled).

But it all fell apart down the stretch. The Miami offense went into clock-milking mode, which totally killed the flow and resulted in bad shot after bad shot. On the other end, Dallas used long rebounds to get out early and catch the Heat resistance unsettled and disorganized. That resulted in a 22-5 that sealed a win for the Mavericks, giving the West's champion a 1-1 split in Miami. It was the Heat's first home loss of the postseason.

They need it back in Game 3 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The Mavericks are 7-1 at home this postseason, having lost Game 2 to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the West finals. Miami is 4-3 on the road, with 1-1 splits in each of Philadelphia and Boston and a 2-1 roll in Chicago, where the Heat robbed home court advantage in Game 2 of the East finals and never looked back.

Game 2 in the East championship series is the last time the Heat found themselves trailing in a series; should the Mavericks win Game 3, Miami would be back in that spot. While we obviously know the Heat can bounce back, this Mavericks team seems to be made of different ingredients. When it's pressed an advantage over opponents in these playoffs -- think Game 5 against Portland, the Game 1 win in L.A. against the Lakers, Game 3 against OKC -- it's pressed it hard. No opponent has been able to breathe easy, because Dallas strikes twice. The run to end Game 2 was Dallas' first strike of the Finals. Miami has to prepare for the next lunge.

As expected, two lovely teams are fighting their tails off in highly competitive games. What more could you want? Game 3 will tip at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. For full series coverage, check out our Heat vs. Mavericks hub. For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier. For more on the Mavericks, visit Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.

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