Give this one to Terry. The Jet outshined the King.
Both players started slowly Monday night. Both finished with 19 points with unimpressive shooting numbers overall. But, it was Terry, 0-of-5 and scoreless through three quarters, who continued to push his fourth-quarter prowess to otherworldly status.
Terry hit 6-of-10 shots, 3-of-4 from 3-point range, including two in the final 2:27, and 4-of-4 from the free line to propel Dallas to a 98-96 win, snapping the Miami Heat's 12-game win streak. James finished with 11 in the quarter on 3-of-7 shooting, missing his lone 3-point attempt.
"At halftime we were a little frustrated because we had a lead and lost it, and we kind of battled back," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "I told them, 'We're within one point and Jet hasn't even scored a point yet.' So I said, 'We're in good shape, he's going to get going, we're going to get him going.'"
Terry said he fed off Carlisle's confidence.
"He said, 'Look guys, we’re down one, Jet hasn’t even scored, he’s still at the hotel,'" Terry said. "I told them I thought the bus was an 8:45, 9 o'clock bus, but thanks for coming back and getting me."
Terry got going almost instantly with a 19-foot jumper with 9:50 to play to cut the Heat lead to 70-67. He hit his first 3-pointer of the game with 8:17 to go to give the Mavs a 72-20 lead. Then came a driving layup for a 74-72 lead. Two free throws made it 79-76 Mavs with 4:29 to play. Next possession he hit a 19-footer for an 81-77 lead with 4:02 to go.
"Those were tough sequences," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Jason Terry was turning the corner, seemed like on every possession, so we went to the trap. That, at that point, we tried to take the ball out of his hands."
It didn't work.
Then came the daggers. With 2:27 left he hit a 26-footer from the wing with a hand in his face for an 86-81 lead. And finally with 1:25 left, he drained another for an 89-85 lead.
"He’s such a great teammate in the sense he’s always cheering other guys on if they’re struggling a little bit," Jason Kidd said. "This was role reversal where everybody was cheering him on saying, 'We just need you to make one,' and we believe once he makes one it will lead to more. In that fourth quarter he just made all the right plays by driving and getting to the baket, scoring and making his free throws and also passing to the open guy."
These fourth quarter explosions after slumbers are becoming somewhat commonplace. Terry would perfer to heat up earlier, but he never lacks the confidence that he will once the fourth quarter comes calling. This time he rode the pick-and-roll with Dirk Nowitzki to great success.
"I’m a player that waits patiently and then when the opportunity presents itself I attack," Terry said. "In the fourth quarter they’re [the Mavs' play calls] going to come to me. Coach has made it obvious...Anytime you involve Dirk [Nowitki] and me in some kind of action we’re going to get a basket, either for ourselves or for our team.
"Bread and butter in the fourth quarter."