NBA Finals Live Blog: Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks Shock Heat in Game 6 to Capture First NBA Championship


NBA Finals Live Blog: Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks Shock Heat in Game 6 to Capture First NBA ChampionshipFinal: Mavericks 105, Heat 95. It's over. It's all over. The Dallas Mavericks have shocked the world, winning the NBA Finals for the first time in their history.

Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea, Peja Stojakovic and Mark Cuban are all champions for the first time.

LeBron James and Chris Bosh will have to wait.

Terry leads the Mavs with 27 points, Nowitzki adds 21, and the Mavs win the series in six. The mighty Heat hadn't lost on their home floor the entire postseason, but the Mavs have beaten them twice to pull off an upset series win.

The superteam from South Beach will have many more opportunities, no doubt. But for the Mavs, the future is now. They've won it all.

Fourth quarter, 2:27, Mavs 99-89: Dirk Nowitzki is not giving this one away.

The big German steps up and hits yet another impossible, unguardable fadeaway jump shot. He now has eight points in the fourth quarter and 19 in the game despite a slow start.

In a few minutes, he might have a ring.

Fourth quarter, 5:32, Mavs 94-87: The Heat are hanging around, but it might not be enough. Mario Chalmers just blew a golden opportunity to cut the lead from seven to five, getting his layup stuffed by Kidd and then fouling him on the recovery of the ball.

The Mavs have the ball and the momentum again. The Heat have a dwindling supply of timeouts. Coach Spo calls one here, and he's got to send a message to his players fast. This is desperation time. The Heat's much-scrutinized season is now hanging by the flimsiest of threads.

Fourth quarter, 8:11, Mavs 89-77: J.J. Barea strikes again. It's an 8-0 run, and Dallas' lead has ballooned from four to 12.

Is this thing over?

If the Heat can't regain their composure fast and start defending, rebounding and moving the ball, then absolutely it is. They're playing like they've already given up.

Fourth quarter, 9:30, Mavs 85-77: Huge swing for the Mavs again. First J.J. Barea nails a 3, and then a Jason Terry fast break leads to two free throws. He makes one of two, and the Mavs lead is now eight.

The Heat still have plenty of time, but they need to start chipping away soon.

LeBron? Paging LeBron. LeBron, do you read me?

End of third quarter, Mavs 81-72: Ian Mahinmi adds insult to injury for the Heat, getting a wide-open elbow jumper at the buzzer. He closes the third quarter with a swish. The Mavs push their lead from seven to nine.

Unbelievably, they're 12 minutes away from the first championship in franchise history.

Can they finish the deal?

This thing is far from over. No lead has been safe in this series.

Third quarter, 3:06, Mavs 72-65: Huge turn of events for the Mavs. Dwyane Wade has a fast break and a chance to chip away at the Mavs lead, but he runs into Brian Cardinal and is called for a charge. Then he's immediately T'd up for disputing the call.

He could have cut the lead to four. Instead it's seven and the ball for Dallas.

The Heat can feel everything slipping away — both their composure and their championship hopes.

Third quarter, 5:05, Mavs 71-65: Finally Dirk steps up and hits his first 3. The Mavs' leader is back in business.

Meanwhile, LeBron James has done absolutely nothing in this second half. Zero shot attempts in seven minutes. Chris Bosh is the one stepping up and demanding the ball.

These are the Bizarro Finals.

Third quarter, 6:11, Mavs 68-62: Jason Kidd steps up and knocks down a mid-range jumper. That's a shocker — it's only his second shot attempt of the game.

Pretty amazing how well the Mavs have performed with practically no help from their two leaders.

Third quarter, 8:55, Mavs 63-56: Double good news for the Mavs — it's an 8-0 run to reestablish control of the ballgame, and among the eight points are a pair of buckets from Dirk Nowitzki.

It's a start. 3-for-16 looks a hell of a lot better than 1-for-13.

Third quarter, 11:20, Mavs 55-54: If the Heat keep hitting shots like this, we'll see you Tuesday. That's a deadly wing 3 from Mario Chalmers. We're looking at a one-point game early in the third.

The Mavs need Dirk to fire back. Earth to Dirk.

Halftime, Mavs 53-51: This is pretty amazing — Dirk Nowitzki is a pathetic 1-of-12 from the field, but the Mavs take a two-point lead into the locker room at halftime.

The biggest reason why? Jason Terry. The veteran sixth man comes off the bench and shoots 8-of-10, including three 3s. He finishes the half with 19 points, including the last 10.

The Heat get 11 points from LeBron James, nine each from Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, and seven from Mario Chalmers. But it's not enough, as Dallas holds a 33-15 edge in bench scoring.

This is going to be a crazy second half, one way or the other. Does Terry cool off? Does Dirk get it back? Does LeBron bring it in the fourth?

Stay tuned and find out.

Second quarter, 2:23, Mavs 51-49: The JET is in flight. Dirk Nowitzki recovers a bad pass by Dwyane Wade, the Mavs take off in transition, and Jason Terry drains yet another 3.

Terry's now 3-for-5 from downtown, 7-for-9 from the field at large. He's got 17 points to lead all scorers.

The Mavs are back on top, at least for a moment. But no lead has been safe, all series long.

Second quarter, 4:17, Heat 44-43: The little skirmish in the timeout appears to have sapped the Heat's momentum. The Mavs get a free throw from the triple technicals and then a dunk for Shawn Marion. Then Dwyane Wade misses a layup. Dallas is back in business.

Mario Chalmers probably feels pretty stupid now. If he hadn't escalated things with Stevenson, the Heat might still be streaking into the lead.

Second quarter, 6:25, Heat 42-40: The Heat are on a 14-0 run, and DeShawn Stevenson is very unhappy about it. The Mavs' guard delivers a hard shove to Udonis Haslem, and Mario Chalmers jumps in and tries to hit him back. All hell breaks loose.

Stevenson, Haslem and Juwan Howard are all getting technicals, it sounds like. The officials are reviewing it at the moment.

The bigger question is whether any suspensions arise from this. Practically everyone on both teams left the bench, but because the Mavs had already called a timeout, there might not be anything illegal about it.

This is a long, long timeout. We'll see if the Heat continue their romp when play resumes.

Second quarter, 8:30, Mavs 40-35: The Heat issue a very quick reminder that this game is not over, going on a 7-0 run fueled by an Eddie House 3.

Mario Chalmers drives to the basket and scores, drawing a timeout and an angry rant from Rick Carlisle, who believes he may have pushed off and committed an offensive foul.

He might be right, but he's fighting a losing battle here.

Second quarter, 9:42, Mavs 40-28: The Mavs open the second quarter on an 8-1 run, fueled by back-to-back 3-pointers from DeShawn Stevenson. The former starter is now killing it off the bench. He's 3-for-3 from long distance.

The Heat are now double digits, in desperate need of this timeout.

This could become 2008 Game 6 real fast. Only instead of Ray Allen, it's DeShawn Stevenson this time. Who'd have thunk it?

End of first quarter, Mavs 32-27: The Mavs close the first quarter on a 17-5 run, and most of it comes with Dirk Nowitzki on the bench. Go figure.

Jason Terry has been electrifying, knocking down jumpers and attacking the basket when he finds opportunities. He's been aggressive, but selectively so. Dare I say it? He's playing intelligent basketball.

Terry's got nine points off the bench to lead the Mavs. LeBron James also has nine for the Heat, plus three assists and a block.

Only one bucket so far for Dirk, who's been sitting out for about five minutes now. What's going on?

First quarter, 4:10, Heat 22-20: Jason Terry can't be stopped right now. First Mike Miller is a step slow, and JET knocks down a jumper in his face; then Dwyane Wade falls asleep on him for two seconds, and he hits another.

Now Spoelstra actually does need a timeout. For real this time.

First quarter, 5:17, Heat 20-15: The Mavs break up a 10-3 Heat run with a Dirk Nowitzki jumper and a drive to the basket from J.J. Barea. They're on the offensive now.

You can tell Erik Spoelstra's getting outcoached when he doesn't even realize he's calling a timeout. Yeesh, that's embarrassing. Apparently Coach Spo was just touching his head.

The Heat can hold a lead when they make nine of their first 14 shots. But let's see if they can hold it.

First quarter, 7:46, Heat 14-10: LeBron James just knocked down a deadly jumper in Shawn Marion's face. He's fired up now. The passive LBJ is dead and buried.

LeBron's 4-for-4 from the field for nine points. Rick Carlisle didn't see this onslaught coming. He needs a timeout to sort some things out.

First quarter, 9:09, 8-8: LeBron has the Heat's first five points, while Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have already chipped in as well. But there's still the occasional leak in Miami's defense, and the Mavs are hanging around.

Tyson Chandler just broke free for a monster dunk, ooping an alley from J.J. Barea. Who's protecting the rim there? All eyes on you, Chris Bosh.

First quarter, 11:23, Heat 3-0: After an awful start to Mario Chalmers' career as a Finals starter — two misses, one of them an airball — LeBron James spots up beyond the arc and knocks down his first shot of the ballgame. The Heat have drawn first blood.

Maybe this is a sign that LeBron's ready to turn it on and lead the Heat offensively.

Then again, this is only the first quarter. Ask me again in the fourth.

8 p.m.: The starting lineups have been introduced, and already a curveball's been thrown our way: The Heat are starting Mario Chalmers at the point tonight, not Mike Bibby.

Good move. Chalmers has played great in these Finals, giving the Heat youth and energy and knocking down big shots. Bibby's time has passed; Chalmers is the main for the job now.

7 p.m.: We're an hour away from game time. Let's get this thing started.

To kick things off, here's a discussion topic. What's the biggest question about LeBron James going into this Game 6 — is it how to get him going offensively (especially in the fourth quarter), or is it what in the world is going on in this photo?

If I didn't know any better, I'd say it looks like LeBron's right foot has six toes.

Let's see if King James can go toe-to-toe with Dirk Nowitzki tonight and force a Game 7.

9 a.m.: Chris Bosh was asked late Thursday night after Game 5 to assess the performance of LeBron James, his much-scrutinized superstar teammate.

He paused for five seconds that seemed like an eternity. He stared blankly, first at the reporter asking the question and then at the stat sheet. Then he formulated something of an answer.

"Triple-double," Bosh said. "We just didn't win the game."

That's scary. James had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, joining Tim Duncan, Rajon Rondo and current Finals opponent Jason Kidd as the only active players to record a triple-double in the Finals. But it still wasn't enough.

Why not? We can debate that to death. You can say James didn't step up in the fourth quarter offensively, carrying his team to victory singlehandedly as Michael Jordan would've. You can blame the injury to Dwyane Wade, which obviously sidetracked the Heat in their Game 5 loss. You can pin it on Miami's lack of a supporting cast. Or you can just chalk it up to a crazy night of fluky 3-point shooting from the Mavericks, who went up three games to two in pretty flashy fashion.

Whatever the reason, the Heat have their backs to the wall now. Just one more loss separates them from a Finals defeat and the inevitable endless criticism that will follow. The Heat must win Sunday to stay alive.

Game 6 tips off at 8 p.m.

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