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The Heat went to Chris Bosh (19 points and nine rebounds for the game) in the first quarter and then to Mario Chalmers (12 points off the bench) in the second. At that point, holding a 44--43 halftime lead, the Mavs may have thought that everything was going according to plan, that they weren't letting James and Wade destroy them.
But the story of this game was how, in the second half, Wade and James played off each other to combine for 29 points (on 11-for-17 shooting), as if they once and for all understood the team manual handed out at training camp eight months ago. Wade had been a disappointing 3 for 10 with three turnovers in the opening half, but when Dallas scored seven points to open the third quarter and take a 51--43 lead, the Heat went to Wade for a pair of layups.
James punctuated a Miami third-quarter surge by hitting two three-pointers. Then, late in the fourth, with the Heat leading 75--70, Wade finished off the Mavs. He sauntered to the top of the key for a jumper over Dallas point guard Jason Kidd, then hit a rolling Bosh with a bounce pass off the dribble that led to a pair of free throws. He blocked a shot by Marion (16 points and 10 rebounds) and then converted a three-pointer to make the score 82--73.
"We'll play better. I'm very certain of that," Carlisle said. "They were more opportunistic tonight than we were. But it's a long series."
GAME 2 June 2, Miami
Mavericks 95, Heat 93
FOR MORE THAN THREE QUARTERS MIAMI WAS MORE explosive athletically and quicker to the ball. And at the end of a 13--0 run that put the Heat in front 88--73, Wade stood in the corner of the floor nearest the Dallas bench with his right arm extended and his wrist cocked. He had just stabbed the Mavs with a catch-and-shoot three, and he was drawing out the crowd and exciting his team. He had scored 36 points, and as he walked back to the bench after the Mavericks called timeout, James was dancing backward in front of him, shouting and throwing air punches at his chest like Dicky Eklund celebrating Micky Ward in The Fighter. There was 7:14 remaining
The Mavs admitted afterward that they were incensed by that celebration. "It was a turning point in the game," said Dallas guard Jason Terry. "Me specifically, [I] looked at Dirk and said, 'There's no way we're going out like this.'"
With 6:18 left Terry ended the Miami run with a jumper from the elbow. Then Kidd grabbed a long rebound and outletted ahead to Terry for a breakaway layup. Next, James left a layup on the front rim. "LeBron had a clean lane," said Nowitzki. "He's going to finish those 10 out of 10 times."