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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