MIAMI -- The Mavericks came out fast to start the second half.
A 7-0 run, ending when DeShawn Stevenson made a 3-pointer from the corner for a 51-43 Mavs lead, prompted Miami coach Erik Spoelstra to call a timeout at the 10:03 mark of the third quarter.
The Heat regrouped and went on an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to 53-51. The Mavs didn't lead by more than four points the rest of the way, and the Heat took a 60-59 lead on a LeBron James 3-pointer with 1:12 left.
James hit another 3 at the third-quarter buzzer to give the Heat a 65-61 lead.
"They responded well," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of the Heat run. "Again, during that period they were making a run at us, I thought we did a good job of hanging in. And again, I thought there were some critical situations where we needed to somehow come up with one loose ball here or go make a shot there that would have made a big difference. But it didn't happen."
The three-pointer by James stunned the Mavs and turned the momentum of the game around.
"I knew what he was going to do," Dwayne Wade said of James' three at the fourth. "He let the clock go all the way down to four before he decided to move. When he had it in his right hand, I knew what he was going to do."
The Mavericks offense was bad in the third quarter. As a team, the Mavs shot 33.3 percent from the floor in the quarter as Dirk Nowitzki went 1-for-5 from the field and Peja Stojakovic missed all three of his shots. Jason Kidd, who didn't attempt a shot in the third, played 10 minutes of it and committed two turnovers.
Dallas never regained the lead in the fourth quarter and fell behind by as much as 91-79 on a James dunk with 40.6 seconds remaining.
"We just didn't take advantage of our opportunties," guard Jason Terry said. "You have to finish at the basket. You have to make your wide-open shots, and we didn't get that accomplished tonight."