Final: Heat 88-86: Well, it came down again to Dirk Nowitzki but this time Miami coach Erik Spoelstra assigned Udonis Haslem against him and his leaning 19-footer clanged off the rim at the buzzer, giving Miami the Game 3 win. Nowitzki led Dallas with 34 points, including its final 12 points and 15 of its 22 points in the fourth quarter. Dwyane Wade paced Miami with 29 but Dallas native Chris Bosh drained the go-ahead basket with 39.6 seconds left.
End of third quarter: Heat 67-64: The theme has been established here. The Heat made runs to go ahead double digits and the Mavericks rally to come close. Miami began the third with an 8-0 run for a 55-42 lead only to watch Dallas storm back with a 17-3 run for a 59-58 lead. The two teams then went back and fourth, with Nowitzki scoring 9 points in the period.
Halftime: Heat 47-42: Miami actually led, 45-31, after a LeBron James free throw with 3:03 left, but Dallas ended the half on an 11-2 run and likely saved its chances of actually pulling out this game. The Mavericks shot just 39 percent in the first half and its struggling bench was just 4 of 12. Wade has 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting while James has 10 points. Bosh is faltering in his return home, scoring 7 points on 2-for-9 shooting with two turnovers.
End of first quarter: Heat 29-22: Miami is playing inspired ball and ended the quarter on a 16-6 run, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Mario Chalmers. Wade and James are making it a priority to drive to the basket instead of settling for jumpers. Miami attempted four 3-pointers in the quarter while James and Wade combined for 16 points.
The Heat are wearing their red uniforms and looking mighty fired up while the American Airlines Center is packed and raucous for the city’s first NBA Finals game in five years. Brendan Haywood is out with a strained right hip flexor and little-used Ian Mahinmi could get action.