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This time, Mavericks able to hold off Heat

January 05, 2008|From the Associated Press

DALLAS -- If any team should've known better than to overlook a barely hanging-on Miami Heat team, it was the Dallas Mavericks.

Apparently, Dirk Nowitzki and his teammates still haven't learned from what happened in the 2006 finals.

With Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade out for Miami, the Mavericks seemed to take victory for granted and nearly wound up getting beaten -- needing a go-ahead three-point basket by Nowitzki with 5:28 left and a defensive stand in the final seconds to pull out a 94-89 victory Friday night.

The Heat were within a point with 14 seconds left and Ricky Davis missed a go-ahead layup.

Josh Howard made two free throws to make it 92-89, then Miami wasted a chance to try for a tying three-pointer when an inbounds pass with 6.1 seconds left was stolen by Devin Harris. He threw a long pass to Howard for an easy layup that made the final score look a lot more lopsided than the game had been.

In 2006, Dallas won the first two games of the NBA Finals and held a big lead in the fourth quarter of Game 3. But the Mavericks lost that game and the next three, sending Miami to its first title.

Nowitzki had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Howard scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter.

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