NBA Finals: Mavericks Make 15-Point Comeback, Again

The Dallas Mavericks were 15 points behind at the end of the second half. The game looked like it was over. But star power forward Dirk Nowitzki led his team on a scoring rally, and Dallas won the game.

Sound familiar? The summary could describe Game 4 of the Western Conference Championship series, when the Mavericks made a historic comeback to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder after being behind by 15 with five minutes left. But a similar scene unfolded again on Thursday night at Game 2 of the NBA Finals. With seven minutes to go, the Mavericks were 15 points behind the Miami Heat. The game, again, looked like it was over.

The Miami Herald describes what came next:

The Heat led by 15 points with seven minutes left before the Mavericks reeled off a 17-2 run to tie the score at 90 with 57 seconds to play.

Nowitzki's three-pointer gave the Mavs a 93-90 lead with 26 seconds to go before Heat reserve Mario Chalmers tied it with a three-pointer from the corner. That set the stage for Nowitzki's final drive of the game.

"I got caught up in trying to stop his drive and that's what he wanted," Bosh said. "For a split second I played bad defense and it cost us two points."

Chalmers' three-pointer dropped with 24.5 seconds to play and the Mavericks called timeout to draw up its final play. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle actually called two plays during the timeout, knowing that the Heat had a foul to give.

But the Heat never fouled and Nowitzki caught Bosh out of position. Earlier in the fourth quarter, Udonis Haslem and Joel Anthony guarded Nowitzki.

"I actually drove a little earlier knowing they had a foul to give and the foul never came," Nowitzki said.

Said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: "We didn't use the foul. Obviously, it looks like right now you could second-guess that, but we didn't take it."

Dwyane Wade missed a desperation 28-footer at the buzzer to win it.

The Mavericks won, 95 to 93, tying the series one to one.

Read the full story at the Miami Herald.

Presented by

Eleanor Barkhorn is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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