Shawn Marion wanted D-Wade challenge

DALLAS – Shawn Marion has played a major role shutting down LeBron James in crunch time during the NBA Finals.

James has a grand total of 11 points in the five fourth quarters. He’s scoreless in the clutch, defined as the final five minutes of a game when the score is within five points.

So Marion moved on to a much more difficult assignment down the stretch in Game 5: Defending Dwyane Wade.

That decision was made after Wade’s 3-pointer gave the Heat a four-point lead with 4:37 remaining. It didn’t come from the bench. It was something Jason Kidd and Marion discussed on the court.

“I said, “Do you want to switch?’ He said, ‘Why not?’” Jason Kidd recalled. “That's just communicating. We have to try to give them different looks. They're so talented.

“When you talk about Wade and LeBron, I mean, you give them the same look, they're going to take advantage of that. So that was just a time where we said we wanted to give them a different look down the stretch.”

Wade obviously didn’t like what he saw when he looked at the longer, more athletic Matrix.

Wade had scored 10 points in the first seven-plus minutes of the fourth quarter. He seemed to be in the midst of breaking the Mavericks’ hearts once again, as he did four times during the 2006 NBA Finals.

That came to a screeching halt with Marion harassing him. Wade didn’t score in the final 4:36, with Marion coming up with one steal and limiting the Heat’s closer to two missed shots in that span.