Mavericks can’t handle Heat

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Mavericks can’t handle Heat


The Miami Heat’s LeBron James goes up for a dunk during the second half of Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, in Miami. The Heat won 92-84 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. [AP/YONHAP]

LeBron James scored 24 points for his first win in five finals-game appearances, and Dwyane Wade added 22 points and 10 rebounds as the Miami Heat beat the Dallas Mavericks 92-84 in Game 1 of the NBA title series Tuesday.

The Heat trailed by eight points early in the third quarter before pulling away, remaining unbeaten at home in these playoffs and snapping Dallas’ five-game road winning streak.

Chris Bosh scored 19 points - holding up three fingers when it was over, a clear nod to the three wins Miami needs for a title - and Mario Chalmers added 12 for the Heat, who host Game 2 on Thursday before the series shifts to Dallas.

Wade’s 3-pointer with 3:06 left put the Heat up 82-73, then the largest lead of the game for either team. The Mavs shaved two points off it on the next possession when Nowitzki hit two free throws, but James gave the Heat their first double-digit lead of the finals a few seconds later.

He dribbled upcourt against Shawn Marion, crossed his dribble over and got clear for a dunk while being fouled.

The free throw made it 85-75, and most in the sellout, white-clad crowd began standing in anticipation.

Even then, it wasn’t over. Nowitzki made two more free throws - he was 12 for 12 from the line for the game - with 1:36 left, cutting the Miami lead to six.

A momentary blip.

Wade grabbed a key defensive rebound, dribbled away from three Dallas pursuers and found Bosh for a dunk with 1:08 left that restored the 10-point lead.

Another dunk by James came with 38.6 seconds left, sealing it.

Game over, and the Heat fans knew it, breaking into their now-traditional tossing of their white seat covers.

“I just was aggressive,’’ Wade said. “We understand that this is the kind of game we wanted to play.

“We had them where we wanted them in the sense of points. You know they weren’t scoring a lot on us and offensively we just executed and guys made plays.’’

Mario Chalmers scored 12 for Miami, which outrebounded Dallas 46-36.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Dallas, which got 16 from Marion and 12 from Jason Terry. It was Dallas’ fifth-straight loss to Miami in finals games, dating to the Heat rally for the 2006 crown.

Dallas had 51 points after 26 minutes, but scored 18 points in the next 18 minutes - 33 over the remainder of the game - as Miami’s defense found another gear.

“That’s kind of the way we’ve been winning games, of late,’’ Wade said. “You’ve got stay with it. You can’t get frustrated because the ball’s not going in.

“There’s other ways you can dominate the game and we were able to do that tonight. I thought we did a great job in the second half of rebounding the ball, limiting them to one shot as much as possible.’’

So, like was the case so many times this season, the Heat took the difficult route.

Miami coach Erik Spoelstra misspoke before the game, saying it had been “425 days’’ since the Heat opened training camp.

He meant 245, but some would say this season may have seemed 180 days longer after all that’s happened along the way.

There was James’ “The Decision,’’ when he left Cleveland for Miami, of course, something that still has him considered to be a villain in plenty of NBA cities.

There was the 9-8 start, capped by a loss and long players-only meeting in Dallas.

And the Heat, who were swept by Chicago in the regular season and lost three of four to Boston, fittingly vanquished both in the Eastern Conference playoffs to reach the NBA Finals for the second time in franchise history.


한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

[NBA 챔프 1차전] ‘왕’의 첫 경험

보시·웨이드와 함께 65점·28R
후반 역전, 생애 첫 파이널 승리
노비츠키 부상 댈러스는 비상

“르브론 제임스(27·마이애미 히트)가 파이널 1차전 승리로 심리적 장벽(psychological hurdle)을 넘어섰다.”

미국프로농구(NBA) 챔피언결정전(7전4선승제) 1차전이 끝난 뒤 USA 투데이는 이렇게 썼다. 제임스가 생애 첫 챔피언결정전 승리를 거뒀다. ‘킹’이라는 별명에 어울리지 않게 그동안 한 번도 챔피언 트로피를 들어올리지 못한 제임스가 우승을 향한 질주를 시작한 것이다.

제임스를 앞세운 마이애미는 1일(이하 한국시간) 미국 플로리다주 마이애미의 아메리칸에어라인 아레나에서 댈러스 매버릭스를 92-84로 물리쳤다. 제임스는 3점슛 4개 포함, 24점을 넣었고 9리바운드 5어시스트를 곁들였다. 2005~2006 시즌 댈러스를 4승2패로 꺾고 우승을 차지한 마이애미는 또다시 댈러스를 상대로 5년 만의 우승을 노린다.

제임스는 올 시즌을 앞두고 마이애미로 이적했다. 우승을 하고 싶어 2003년부터 몸담았던 클리블랜드 캐벌리어스를 떠났다. 클리블랜드 팬들은 고향을 떠난 제임스에게 저주를 퍼부었고 마이애미 팬들은 두 손을 들어 환영했다. 홈구장에서는 이례적으로 제임스를 환영하는 대규모 파티가 벌어졌다. 함께 이적한 크리스 보시, 프랜차이즈 스타인 드웨인 웨이드와 더불어 ‘빅3’는 벌써 우승이라도 차지한 듯 흥겨워 했다.

빅3의 명성은 허튼 게 아니었다. 65점 28리바운드를 합작하며 승리를 이끌었다. 웨이드(22점 10리바운드 6어시스트)와 보시(19점 9리바운드 3어시스트)의 활약도 제임스에 못지않았다. 제임스는 경기의 흐름을 가져왔다. 3쿼터 초반까지 43-51로 뒤지는 등 고전한 마이애미는 웨이드의 득점포를 앞세워 거세게 추격하다 3쿼터 종료 1분여를 남기고 60-59로 역전했다. 제임스는 3쿼터 종료 직전 극적인 버저비터 3점슛을 꽂아넣었고 마이애미는 4점 차로 달아났다. 4쿼터 한때 68-66까지 추격을 허용했지만 빅3가 연달아 득점포를 터뜨리며 경기를 마무리했다.

댈러스의 ‘독일 병정’ 더크 노비츠키는 홀로 분전했지만 ‘빅3’를 모두 넘지는 못했다. 노비츠키는 27점으로 양팀 선수 가운데 최다득점을 올렸지만 동료들의 지원 부족이 아쉬웠다. ‘특급 도우미’ 제이슨 키드는 9점 6어시스트에 머물렀고, 센터 타이슨 챈들러가 34분을 뛰고도 리바운드 4개에 그쳤다. 특히 댈러스는 리바운드 싸움에서 36-46으로 밀렸다. 엎친 데 덮친 격으로 노비츠키는 4쿼터 도중 가로채기를 하다 왼손 중지 힘줄이 파열되는 부상까지 당했다.

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