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Dallas Mavericks Capture First NBA Championship Over Miami Heat

by Michael Kashin on Monday, June 13th, 2011

The Dallas Mavericks have won their first NBA Championship in franchise history and after the series when into game 4 with Miami holding a 2-1 lead, the Mavs ran off three straight victories to finally get over the hump. The last two games were won in decisive fashion, sending Miami into an offseason of scrutiny. It is never too early to start looking into the 2011-2012 NBA season, as I’m sure both of these teams will be part of a lot of people’s NBA picks next season. Dallas shot the lights out once again in game 6, which was something that the entire basketball world thought they could not duplicate from game 5. The Mavs showed that they are a great team with great shooters, and if the NBA does not take notice, this team has the tools to make another run at it next year.

Jason Terry’s 27-point performance, combined with a strong second-half effort from Dirk Nowitzki, proved too much for a Heat team that wilted in the fourth quarter for the fourth time in the series. As in its Game 5 victory, Dallas relied on a dominant performance from the 3-point line Sunday, making 11 of 26 shots from long range to avenge a loss to Miami in the 2006 Finals. Nowitzki had 18 of his 21 points after halftime while J.J. Barea added 15 points for Dallas, which shot 50 percent from the field in the title-clinching win. Nowitzki was named Finals MVP, averaging 25.8 points and 10 rebounds in the series. This was truly a team effort and the Mavericks should be very proud of their season heading into the summer.

After Miami closed to within four, Barea knocked down Dallas’s 11th 3-pointer of the night for an 84-77 edge. That advantage swelled to 12 points with eight minutes remaining, and Nowitzki hit a pair of key jumpers inside five minutes to keep the lead at double digits. The players began celebrating even before the final buzzer sounded. Moments after the game ended, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban embraced his players while Nowitzki headed to the locker room with his uniform covering his face. Nowitzki returned to the court to share in the celebration as commissioner David Stern presented the Larry O’Brien Trophy to the franchise’s first owner, Donald Carter. The Mavs have finally gotten that monkey off their back, and they must be feeling pretty good about it.