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Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh has been relatively ineffective within five feet of the basket in the first two games of The Finals.
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

Mavs' potent lineup executed Game 2 comeback

By John Schuhmann,
Posted Jun 3 2011 8:16PM

MIAMI -- Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals was one of the wildest games you will ever see, especially when you consider the stakes.

When the Miami Heat went on a 13-0 run to take a 88-73 lead with 7:14 to go in the fourth quarter, the game seemed over, the series seemed to be well in hand, and the Heat were looking like a potential dynasty.

But then things turned on a dime, the Heat lost at home for the first time in this postseason, and we're now heading to Dallas with a tied series.

It was the first time since 1992 that a team has come back from at least 15 points down in the fourth quarter to win a Finals game. And it was the third time in four games that the Mavs have come back from at least eight points down in the fourth quarter to win.

A comeback like that takes execution on both ends of the floor, of course. The Mavs scored on 11 of their final 12 possessions and allowed the Heat to score on just two of their final 12.

Shooting from distance

In Game 1 on Tuesday, the Heat took 41 of their 80 shots (51 percent) from 15 feet and beyond. In Game 2, they took 43 of their 73 shots (59 percent) from 15 feet and beyond. That's not a huge increase, but shot distance was a clear problem as the Mavs made their comeback.

With the Dallas defense tightening up down the stretch, the Heat couldn't get into the paint. In the last 7 minutes of Game 2, Miami took 12 shots, and 11 of the 12 came from 15 feet and out.

That stretch began with Dwyane Wade's 3-pointer from in front of the Mavs' bench that gave the Heat their 15-point lead. After that shot, Miami was 0-for-1 (a LeBron James drive) from inside 15 feet and 1-for-10 from 15 feet and beyond.

The Heat were 9-for-30 from 3-point range and are now 1-3 when they attempt at least 30 threes, a mark which includes their Dec. 20 home loss to Dallas, when they were 11-for-31.

Before that missed drive by James with 5:29 left, James and Wade were a combined 12-for-13 from within five feet of the basket. They finished 12-for-14 in Game 2 and are now 19-for-25 from within five feet in The Finals.

Bosh coming up short

Compare that to Chris Bosh, who was 2-for-8 from within five feet in Game 2 and his now 5-for-16 from within five feet in the series. He's 6-for-22 from inside the paint in the two games.

Heat shooting within 5 feet in The Finals
Player FGM FGA FG%
Chris Bosh 5 16 31.3%
Mario Chalmers 1 1 100%
Udonis Haslem 2 4 50.0%
Juwan Howard 0 1 0.0%
LeBron James 7 9 77.8%
Dwyane Wade 12 16 75.0%
Total 27 47 57.4%

• StatsCube: Chris Bosh's shooting in The Finals

Bosh is 9-for-34 overall, but somehow has the series' best plus-minus mark at plus-14.

Potent lineup

The Mavs' lineup on the floor for their comeback was Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler, who re-entered the game right after Wade's corner three.

That lineup shot 9-for-12 and outscored the Heat 22-5 in that final 7:14 of the fourth quarter. Overall, the lineup has shot 27-for-46 (59 percent) and has outscored the Heat 74-59.

Mavs' Game 2 closing lineup
1 1 2 2 3 66.7% 2 3 66.7% 1 2 50.0% 7 2
1 2 5 6 9 66.7% 2 2 100.0% 3 3 100.0% 17 13
1 4 5 2 8 25.0% 0 3 .0% 6 7 85.7% 10 14
2 2 3 2 4 50.0% 0 1 .0% 0 0 0.0% 4 6
2 3 5 6 10 60.0% 0 1 .0% 2 2 100.0% 14 9
2 4 7 9 12 75.0% 2 2 100.0% 2 2 100.0% 22 5
Total -- 27 27 46 58.7% 6 12 50.0% 14 16 87.5% 74 49

That plus-25 dwarfs the plus-minus by any other lineup in the series thus far. Next best is the Miami starters, who are a plus-7 in 31 total minutes.

Securing the glass

One of the Mavs' issues in Game 1 was rebounding, having allowed the Heat to grab 16 offensive boards. In Game 2, the Mavs clearly improved on the glass, allowing Miami just six offensive rebounds and just eight second-chance points.

The improvement clearly started with Kidd and Nowitzki.

In Game 1, Kidd grabbed just four of the 41 available defensive boards when he was on the floor, a defensive rebounding percentage of 12 percent. In Game 2, he grabbed eight of the 30 available defensive boards, a defensive rebounding percentage of 27 percent.

In Game 1, Nowitzki grabbed just eight of the 41 available defensive boards when he was on the floor, a defensive rebounding percentage of 20 percent. In Game 2, he grabbed 10 of the 33 available defensive boards, a defensive rebounding percentage of 30 percent.

Sloppy play

Of course, a new problem popped up for the Mavs in Game 2. They turned the ball over 20 times on Thursday, just the sixth time they've committed that many turnovers this season. And 15 of those turnovers were live-ball situations, which allowed the Heat to record 16 fast-break points.

Pivotal Game 3

Since the NBA went to the 2-3-2 format for The Finals in 1985, this is the 12th time the series has been tied 1-1. And in each of the 11 previous Finals with a 1-1 tie, the winner of Game 3 went on to win the championship. Eight of those 11 Game 3s, including last year's in Boston, were won by the road team.

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for You can e-mail him here and follow him on twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

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