The Mavs tied it at 100 on Terry's 3-pointer with 3:23 left, and after James missed, Nowitzki drove for a baseline dunk and a 102-100 lead. James was called for an offensive foul and missed a 3-pointer on Miami's next two possessions before Kidd drilled a 3-pointer to make it 105-100, sending the crowd into a delirious chant of "Beat the Heat! Beat the Heat!"
The teams were at the same point as their 2006 matchup after four games, but that one was already in the midst of a massive swing by then. Miami won the final four games behind Wade, the MVP of that series.
This one has been developing into one of the closest finals the NBA has ever seen. Games 2-4 were decided by three points or fewer. That hadn't happened in the championship round since 1948, according to STATS, LLC, when the Baltimore Bullets and Philadelphia Warriors played Games 2-4 within a three-point margin during the Basketball Association of America finals, a year before that league merged with the National Basketball League to become the NBA.
The first four games were determined by 15 total points, the fewest since a 12-game difference between the Celtics and Lakers in the 1969 finals.
And all eyes were on James, just as they have been since he bolted Cleveland for a better shot at a championship in Miami.
James threw up an airball with his left hand on his first shot, and when he did finally score, the Mavs quickly came back with six straight points for an early 13-6 lead, a promising start for a team that had been playing from behind nearly all series.
Wade walked gingerly to the locker room with a left hip contusion with about 3 minutes left in the period after colliding with Mavs reserve Brian Cardinal on a drive to the basket, and didn't return to the bench until more than 3 minutes into the second.
James had a basket inside that gave Miami a six-point lead with 4:26 left in the half, but Dallas closed with a 14-5 push, taking a 60-57 edge to the locker room after Nowitzki's jumper with 6.1 seconds remaining. The Mavs shot 12 of 17 in the quarter, and after not reaching 30 points in any period through four games, hit that number in each of the first two quarters of Game 5.
Notes: Last year was one of the few times the Game 5 winner in a 2-2 finals didn't win the series. Boston went to Los Angeles with a 3-2 lead but the Lakers won the remaining games. ... In Games 1-3 combined, the Mavs led for a total of 35 minutes and 41 seconds, according to STATS. In Game 5, the Mavs led for a total of 30:59.
PBT: LeBron James took over the 4th quarter, Ray Allen hit a huge three to force OT and the Heat survived to force a Game 7.
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