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Heat claim advantage

LeBron James after his first NBA title

Game 1 of the NBA Finals ended with the Miami Heat taking the early series lead after a 92-84 victory over the visiting Dallas Mavericks on the back of 65 points from their big three. LeBron James led the way for the home side scoring 24 points whilst Dwyane Wade, 22, and Chris Bosh, 19, weighed in with healthy contributions as they took the initiative in the best of seven series. Despite holding the Heat to 39 percent shooting on the night, the Mavericks’ own offense failed to deliver as they produced their worst shooting display of the playoffs so far. Dirk Nowitzki did sink 27 points but missed 11 of his 18 field goals as well as picking up a tendon injury on his left hand which may hamper him in the remainder of the series.

The Mavericks who had been free scoring during the entire playoffs so far, struggled to find their shooting form but in a low scoring first quarter, they held a one point lead at 17-16. The Mavs held their one point lead after the second quarter also as both teams enjoyed a much more profitable quarter in terms of scoring.

Dallas came out in the third quarter and extended their lead to 8 points before the Heat turned things around and dominated the rest of the third quarter to earn themselves a four point lead going into the final quarter after a buzzer beating three-pointer from James.

With two of the best closers in the game, the Heat pushed their lead out and managed to assume control, keeping the Mavs at bay and not allowing them to get to close to pulling off a sixth straight road win in the postseason. With neither team on shooting form, the Heat won the battle around the basket, bringing in an extra ten rebounds with James, Wade and Bosh bringing in a total of 28 whilst the Mavericks reliance on Nowitzki scoring 35-40 points saw them fall short. Nowtizki did pull in 8 rebounds and Shawn Marion collected 10 as well as 16 points.

Miami's big three led the way

Although the makeup of the Heat side has drastically changed since their 2006 Finals win over the Mavericks, the outcome was worryingly familiar for Mavs fans who have now seen their side lose five straight Finals games to the Heat. Those in Dallas will be keen for these Finals to take a similar pattern as the 2006 Finals however when the Mavs ran out into a 2-0 lead before Miami’s four straight victories took the title and a reverse of would please not only Mavs fans, but those neutrals that still hold a grudge against the Heat.

James stated “We’ve got a lot of work to do. … That’s one in the books. We’re excited about this game. Tomorrow we prepare for Game 2, and I see ways we can get better.” That final statement is certainly true as Miami have produced many higher level performances during this postseason which they will be looking to replicate. Meanwhile, the vastly experience Mavericks should be able to move on from this defeat completely and prepare for game 2 of the series which will be in Miami on Thursday June 2nd.

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