Shawn Marion becomes Matrix again

MIAMI -- Shawn Marion has the nickname of Matrix because of his amazing athletic ability. As he's gotten older, Marion has slowed down some.

Happens sometimes.

But in the first two games of the NBA Finals, the old Marion has been flying around.

Marion scored 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field in Dallas' 95-93 Game 2 win over the Miami Heat on Thursday night. Marion is averaging 18 points a game in the first two games of this series and is shooting a sizzling 57-percent from the field.

"I'm just being aggressive on both ends of the floor," Marion said. "I think I'm seeing some things I can take advantage of and I'm doing it. My teammates are finding me, the balls are finding me in ways to create opportunities for myself and my teammates. I'm taking advantage of it."

The Mavericks' struggled on the boards in Game 1, preventing them from pushing the ball up the floor. But a 41-30 rebounding edge in Game 2 allowed them to get up court at a faster pace and put Marion in a position where he's at his best, scoring on layups and dunks. Even after made baskets by the Heat, point guard Jason Kidd sped things up and Marion was able to get out on the wings and take some passes and create.

"Just being aggressive and taking the ball to the rack," Marion said. "Also, I was able to handle some pick-and-rolls. I like that. I was able to come off and be aggressive and attack more. I was able to find my teammates or attack the basket."

While Marion didn't have one of those thunderous dunks like he did when playing for the Phoenix Suns for the first eight seasons of his career, he did get to the lane for easy layups on the break. Of his nine made field goals, six were either layups or dunks.

On the defensive end, Marion grabbed eight rebounds and blocked one shot in a playoff-high 41 minutes. He was also an emotional spark. When the Mavs were down 15 points in the fourth quarter, Marion returned to the bench and started yelling at his teammates to keep playing.

"He was great," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "Look, we need him on the floor because of his defense. Offensivley he's given us points and playmaking. His movement on the court makes a lot of good things happen for us."