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Out of the nine players on the scoreboard for the Mavs, only one did not shoot at least 50 percent.
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In battle of offensive efficiency, Mavs stood out in Game 5

By John Schuhmann,
Posted Jun 10 2011 10:26PM

MIAMI -- The 2011 NBA Finals are coming back to Miami with the Dallas Mavericks holding a 3-2 series lead over the Miami Heat, thanks to an offensive explosion and more clutch execution.

Game 5 was easily the most efficient game of The Finals for both teams, with the Mavs scoring 112 points on 86 possessions, and the Heat scoring 103 on 88. Combined, they scored 124 points per 100 possessions on Thursday, a huge increase over the 104 they registered through the first four games.

The Mavs shot 57 percent from the field and made a killing from 3-point range, connecting on 13 of their 19 attempts (68 percent) from beyond the arc. That was the highest percentage Dallas has shot from 3-point range since Feb. 18, 2009 and the highest 3-point percentage that Miami has allowed since Nov. 19, 2008.

Mavs' postseason shooting
Portland 201 442 45.5% 46 121 38.0% 112 145 77.2% 50.7% 55.4%
L.A. Lakers 148 300 49.3% 49 106 46.2% 64 80 80.0% 57.5% 61.0%
Oklahoma City 177 394 44.9% 38 116 32.8% 134 153 87.6% 49.8% 57.0%
Miami 157 354 44.4% 40 98 40.8% 109 137 79.6% 50.0% 55.9%
Total 683 1490 45.8% 173 441 39.2% 419 515 81.4% 51.6% 57.0%
eFG% = (FGM + (0.5*3PM)) / FGA TS% = Pts / (2*(FGA+(0.44*FTA)))

Maybe the Heat defense was half a step slow. Maybe the Mavs were supremely focused. Or maybe they were just due for one of those nights. Even after that big night, they're still shooting their lowest percentage from the field of any series in this postseason.

More clutchness, this time with a little help

Yes, they had to give up a nine-point lead first, but the Mavs have now come from behind in the fourth quarter in each of their last five wins. This time, they erased a 99-95 Heat lead with 4 1/2 minutes to go, finishing the game on a 17-4 run.

The Mavs finally got a few "clutch" time field goals from players not named Nowitzki on Thursday. Through the first four games, Nowitzki had all seven of Dallas' clutch time field goals in The Finals, and he added one more, a dunk off a baseline drive that gave the Mavs a 102-100 lead with 2:45 left, on Thursday.

Clutch time = Last five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime, with a point differential of five points or less

But Jason Terry pitched in with two clutch field goals and Jason Kidd added another in Game 5. All three were from 3-point range.

In addition to his dunk, Nowitzki added two clutch time free throws, giving him 26 total clutch time points for the series. That's twice as many as Dwyane Wade (13). LeBron James is now 0-for-7 from the field, including 0-for-5 from 3-point range, in clutch time in The Finals. And he hasn't made any trips to the free throw line in clutch time either. He has two clutch time assists, but no points.

Shot selection issues

Things were going pretty well for the Heat early in the fourth quarter of Game 5, at least offensively. They scored 20 points on their first 12 possessions of the period, and the first 17 points all came on dunks, layups or free throws, as they ate the Mavs' defense up with double pick-and-rolls sets.

But then the Heat started turning the ball over and stopped getting to the basket. They took just one more shot from within five feet of the basket, and that was a somewhat meaningless layup by James with 30 seconds left and the Mavs up seven.

Heat fourth quarter shooting and turnovers in Game 5
Time < 5 FGM < 5 FGA 5+ FGM 5+ FGA TO
First 7 min. 7 7 0 2 1
Last 5 min. 1 1 1 6 3
< 5 = From within five feet of the basket; 5+ = From five feet and out
Miami's diminishing returns

Obviously, this wasn't the first example of the Heat falling apart late in the game. Their fourth quarter execution has been pretty bad, on both ends of the floor, since Game 2.

Team efficiency by quarter
Period DAL Pts DAL Poss DAL Eff MIA Pts MIA Poss MIA Eff MIA +/-
1st Qtr 118 111 106.3 125 110 113.6 +7.3
2nd Qtr 124 107 115.9 120 110 109.1 -6.8
3rd Qtr 103 101 102.0 110 102 107.8 +5.9
4th Qtr 118 106 111.3 104 105 99.0 -12.3
1st Half 242 218 111.0 245 220 111.4 +0.4
2nd Half 221 207 106.8 214 207 103.4 -3.4
Total 463 425 108.9 459 427 107.5 -1.4
Eff. = Points scored per 100 possessions

Offensively, the Heat have been at their best in the first quarter, and they've gradually gotten worse as the game has gone on. For the series, Miami has been less efficient in each subsequent period.

Continued dominance

The Mavs made a lineup change in Game 4, replacing DeShawn Stevenson in the backcourt with J.J. Barea. That has seemingly sparked Dallas to their last two wins, but they've been most successful with neither Barea nor Stevenson on the floor.

Most used lineups in The Finals
Lineup MIN Pace OffRtg DefRtg EffDiff PTS OppPTS +/-
Bibby, Wade, James, Bosh, Anthony 66 85.5 98.5 103.2 -4.8 116 121 -5
Kidd, Terry, Marion, Nowitzki, Chandler 58 89.5 132.0 89.3 42.7 141 99 +42
Chalmers, Wade, James, Bosh, Haslem 46 90.2 102.0 113.6 -11.6 85 101 -16
Kidd, Barea, Marion, Nowitzki, Chandler 37 83.5 115.6 90.4 25.2 73 58 +15
Kidd, Stevenson, Marion, Nowitzki, Chandler 28 86.0 91.5 101.6 -10.0 45 +52 -7
Chalmers, Miller, James, Bosh, Haslem 21 79.7 122.6 109.0 13.6 43 37 +6
Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions

The Mavs' lineup of Kidd, Terry, Shawn Marion, Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler was a plus-12 in Game 5 and is now a plus-42 in The Finals, having outscored the Heat 141-99 in 58 minutes on the floor.

No other five-man unit for either team is better than a plus-15 for the series, and the only unit that has played more minutes is the Heat's starters, who are a minus-5 in 66 minutes.

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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