MIAMI -- The Dallas Mavericks arrived at AmericanAirlines Arena for the morning shootaround confident that they would celebrate on that court at the end of Sunday night.
One more win over the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals would clinch the Mavericks' first championship. A team that has won six of its previous seven road games, including a comeback from 15 points down in the fourth quarter of Game 2, believes it will finish the journey in Sunday night's Game 6.
"This is our night and we realize it," Dallas sixth man Jason Terry said. "We're going to be amped up. We're going to be ready to go."
The Mavericks have an outstanding track record when they have an opportunity to eliminate their playoff opponents.
Dallas is 12-7 in closeout games during Dirk Nowitzki's career, including six consecutive wins. They are 3-0 in elimination games this postseason, including a 122-86 rout to complete a stunning sweep of the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals.
Center Tyson Chandler attributed the Mavs' success in elimination games to "killer instinct." Several Mavs, including Nowitzki, have emphasized the importance of maintaining their focus and edge now that their ultimate goal is potentially 48 minutes away.
"I don't allow myself to sit back and relax now," Nowitzki said. "In these playoffs, one win or one loss can switch the whole momentum. You don't ever want a snowball to start. I don't allow myself to sit back all of a sudden and be satisfied.
"We got one more big win hopefully to get, and then I can be satisfied."
Tim MacMahon covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.