It was the same story of Game 4 all over again, only this time it involved two high-scoring offenses and Dallas didn’t need Dirk Nowitzki to be the man down the stretch.
The Heat fell to the Mavericks 112-103 despite a triple-double from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade toughing it out through a hip injury that saw him spend more time than he’d like in the locker room. Dallas hit the clutch shots to put Miami away, setting up Game 6 in South Beach with a must-win for the home squad.
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The first half was the usual back-and-forth between the two teams, and like Game 4, surprising role players stepped up. Mario Chalmers kept Miami in it during the first half, and J.J. Barea shot daggers into the Heat.
@WojYahooNBA: Like LeBron said, this is the biggest game of Mario Chalmers career.
@TasMelas: Barea with 8 huge points in the 3rd quarter – Bynum just elbowed his wife.
But some names that you’d never dream of participating in the NBA Finals had their 15 minutes of fame. At times pitted against old man Juwan Howard, The Custodian hit a three-pointer and the King of Wacky Stats Darren Rovell mathematically calculated his worth.
@ZillaRocca: @treykerby Juwan and cardinal…fighting over the prune juice under the basket
@treykerby: Think I just saw six Brian Cardinals in the crowd already.
@darrenrovell: It would take 808 YEARS for the avg American to earn what Brian Cardinal has earned in his 11 year NBA career.
@darrenrovell: $ made in salary per point: Brian Cardinal ($18,078) vs. Kobe Bryant ($7,039)
Wade was injured after being clipped by Cardinal in the first half, and at the beginning of the second half, Mike Miller appeared in the starting line-up in place of Wade.
Where was Dwyane? Finding out via Twitter was seriously like having a GPS on the guy. By that I mean that GPS in your rental car where the automated voice tells you where to turn and you yell, “Shut up, I know I need to turn left.” But then it tells you to turn right, and you get angry and go, “That’s the wrong way, a$$****!” Annoying.
The following actually appeared chronologically and uninterrupted on my Twitterfeed.
@foxsportsreiter: D-Wade didn’t start 2nd half. But Justin Bieber’s here, so I guess there’s that.
@EthanJSkolnick: Wade emerges from tunnel
@IraHeatBeat: Dwyane Wade headed back to Heat bench.
@EthanJSkolnick: Wade to scorer’s table
@johnhollinger: Wade checks in. Guessing he plays the final 16 min.
@IraHeatBeat: Now, Wade into the game.
Oh, there he is! The fourth quarter arrived, and James did little to back up his talk of playing well on the defensive end, all the while legitimizing Terry’s uncertainty of LeBron containing him for seven straight games — again.
Not even in the closing minute could James lock down on JET. With James guarding him and before putting his wheels up, Terry hit a deep three-pointer with 33 seconds left that gave the Mavs an unsurmountable seven-point edge.
@Jared_Wade: Jason Terry has Stone Hedge-sized stones. Sam Cassell would be proud.
@HPbasketball: ALL YOUR DAGGER ARE BELONG TO JET
@NBAonESPN_RV: Some people have a tailbone. Jason #Terry has a tailpipe! #747 #Jet
Despite a 17-10-10 box score, James was again forced to face the music. After calling this the biggest game of his career, his stat-line showed only two meaningless fourth-quarter points off a lay-up after the Terry triple. Meanwhile, Wade put up 23 points and eight assists, making keys plays that put Miami ahead before the Mavs, like usual, rallied.
@RyceJuanton: I need Wade not to clinch his jaw. That joint spreads like a pregnant woman’s hips.
@GaryParrishCBS: How pissed is D-Wade that he recruited the wrong dude to Miami?
@TheRockwell: Son, DWade outplayed Bron and he spent the game in the locker room.
And while Miami and Dallas represent two very distinct and very American cities, perhaps some Canadian NBA fans can take some pleasure in this NBA Finals series, a nice consolation if the Canucks can’t top the Bruins in the battle for the Stanley Cup. Before the game was decided, one Canadian even predicted that the winner will be the NBA Champion.
@johnhollinger: Between Joel Anthony, courtside Biebermania and TMobile girl, it’s been a big Finals for Canada.
@SteveNash: Great game! Great series… Tonight’s winner will be @NBA champs.
We shall see.
Will Game 6 go the same way?
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