The AP reports:
LeBron James scored 24 points for his first win in five NBA finals games, Dwyane Wade scored 15 of his 22 points in the second half and the Heat beat the Dallas Mavericks 92-84 in Game 1 of the title series on Tuesday night—holding the Western Conference champions to their lowest point total of the playoffs after a dominant defensive showing down the stretch…
Dirk Nowitzki(notes) scored 27 points—tearing a tendon in the middle finger on his left, non-shooting, hand during the game and revealing afterward that he’ll likely wear a splint throughout the remainder of the series—and grabbed eight rebounds for Dallas, which got 16 points and 10 rebounds from Shawn Marion(notes) and 12 points from Jason Terry(notes), most of those coming in an early flurry. It was Dallas’ fifth straight loss to Miami in finals games, dating to the Heat rally for the 2006 crown.
Dallas held the Heat to 39 percent shooting, Miami’s second-worst showing of the playoffs.
Problem was, the Mavericks shot 37 percent—by far, their worst night of the postseason offensively…
Miami outrebounded Dallas 46-36, got a gritty effort on both ends from reserve Mike Miller(notes)—who left with his left arm in a sling, but insisted he would be fine—and reaped rewards again from another strong fourth-quarter finish by Wade and James…
Bosh scored 19 points and Mario Chalmers(notes) added 12 for the Heat. The Heat trailed by eight points early in the third quarter before pulling away, remaining unbeaten—now 9-0—at home in these playoffs and snapping Dallas’ five-game road postseason winning streak.
Dallas had 51 points after 26 minutes. The Mavericks scored 18 points in the next 18 minutes, 33 over the remainder of the game, as Miami’s defense found another gear.
Miami’s Udonis Haslem has the assignment of guarding Nowitzki and said his job is to “try to make it tough” for the 32-year-old German.
“He’s a great player,” Haslem said. “He’s going to make his shots. You can’t get discouraged. You’ve got to keep going and keep chipping away at it.”
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said he was unsure how to stop Nowitzki, who entered the game with a 28.4 average in the post-season.
“I don’t think it really matters what you do, your schematics, who is defending him, he’s going to get his average at least every single game,” he said.
The Sports Network reports:
Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki said he tore a finger tendon in his non-shooting hand during Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday.
Nowitzki and the Mavs lost the game, 92-84, after LeBron James and the Heat pulled away in the second half.
He was injured late in the fourth quarter as he lunged with his left hand to swipe the ball from Miami’s Chris Bosh in the paint. He said he couldn’t straighten his finger out after the play.
Live fan discussion of the game took place in this forum topic.