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Basketball: Miami triple threat strikes first in NBA finals

01 june 2011, 13:27
0
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. ©AFP
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. ©AFP
LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade paced the Miami attack as the big three combined for 65 points and the Heat beat Dallas 92-84 in the opening game of the 2011 NBA finals on Tuesday, AFP reports.

James finished with a team high 24 points, Wade had 22 points and 10 rebounds and Bosh scored 19 points for the Heat, who are a perfect 9-0 at home in the post-season.

After a low-scoring, tightly-contested first half in which the lead changed hands 10 times, the Heat's star trio three seized control in the fourth quarter in front of the sold out crowd at the American Airlines Arena.

Game two is Thursday in Miami.

Combining Wade with James and Bosh as a triple threat in Miami is paying dividends in their first post-season together. But it also made villains of the them in some people's eyes, especially James who spurned his hometown Cleveland to join the Heat.

Wade had his typical slow playoff start but once again found his second gear late in the game. He helped clinch the win by combining with James on an alley-oop with 30.6 seconds left that made it 91-79.

James made several plays in the second half that showed why he is the NBA's most dominant player. He made a statement dunk with 2:48 to go that gave Miami a 84-75 lead. James also drained a buzzer beating three pointer at the end of the third quarter to give Miami a 65-61 lead.

Dirk Nowitzki scored a team high 27 points for the Mavericks who are trying avenge a six game loss to the Heat in the 2006 finals.

Shawn Marion had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Jason Terry came off the bench to score 12 points for the Mavericks who are seeking their first NBA championship.

The Mavericks had home court advantage in 2006, winning the first two games before dropping four straight.

Dallas won both regular-season contests over Miami this year, in the playoffs, however, the Mavericks are without swingman Caron Butler, who has been out since January 1 after knee surgery.

Part of the Heat's game plan was to set the tone early with physical play under the basket. Both Terry and Nowitzki were fouled hard by James and Udonis Haslem in the first half.

Terry landed especially hard after being hit in mid-air by James but got up without any trouble.

The Mavericks looked like they might have some life when they went on a 7-0 run to begin the second half, but the Heat quickly answered and went on to ouscore the Mavericks 27-23 in the fourth quarter.

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