MIAMI -- Jason Terry may have just completed the most important half of basketball of his career. He scored 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting to carry the Mavericks and slumping Dirk Nowitzki (1-of-12 FGs) to a 53-51 halftime lead.
Dirk shooting 1-of-12 and the Mavs lead? It simply continues the unpredictable, illogical pattern of this series. The Heat, getting 11 points from LeBron James and nine each from Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, couldn't take advantage and needed a 14-0 run to rally from a 40-28 deficit.
Midway through the quarter, tension escalated after DeShawn Stevenson bumped Udonis Haslem after a timeout was called. Both teams converged at midcourt for a brief melee. Technicals were handed to Stevenson, Haslem and Mario Chalmers. The Mavs were awarded a technical free throw, which Nowitzki hit for his third point.
But Terry is the story. Coming off his 8-of-12 shooting performance for 21 points in Game 5, he's replicating his remarkable shooting stroke in the Game 4 clincher vs. the Lakers when he scored 32.
Nowitzki got in early foul trouble with two, and center Tyson Chandler will have to be cautious to start the third. He has three fouls to go with three points and four rebounds.
The Mavs are 7-of-14 from 3-point range, with Terry and Stevenson hitting three apiece. Stevenson hit two early in the second quarter to help Dallas build the first double-digit lead of the series.
It didn't last long, but with Nowitzki struggling, the Mavs will be happy to have the lead.
Twenty-four minutes until a championship?