After a relatively even three quarters, the Miami Heat pulled away in the fourth quarter led by Dwayne Wade and LeBron James in a dominant display that leaves doubt about how competitive Dallas could be in the 2011 NBA Finals.
The third quarter concluded with James hitting a ridiculous three-point attempt as time expired, which turned out to set the stage for Miami's fourth quarter. Wade, who struggled in the first half, stepped up when it counted the most on both ends of the floor and ended up finishing the game with 22 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 6 assists. He also put the exclamation point on the victory with an alley-oop to James who was again solid in the final minutes and finished with 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists. Chris Bosh chipped in 19 points and 9 rebounds of his own.
Miami didn't need much from its supporting cast Tuesday night but Mario Chalmers did hit three big three-pointers and finish with 12 points. He spent the bulk of the game at point guard, replacing an ineffective MIke Bibby.
As for Dallas, the bench let them down. Jose Barea was 1-8 from the field. Peja Stojakovic had zero points. Jason Terry had 12 but was completely invisible in the second half, in a similar way that Jason Kidd was. Shawn Marion was the only player who provided adequate support for Dirk Nowitzski by contributing 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Dirk was still productive despite being constantly double teamed. Hh finished with 27 points and was 12-12 from the free throw line. Unfortunately for Dallas, the Mavs may not win a game in this series if Dirk's supporting cast can't take advantage of those constant double teams being thrown at him.
The Heat are now only three games away from driving the rest of the basketball world outside of their city insane and have now improved to 9-0 on their home court in the playoffs. Game Two is Thursday night back in Miami.