Game 1 of the 2011 NBA Finals belonged to LeBron James and the Miami Heat. The Dallas Mavericks hope to flip that for Game 2. Led by the Big Three, a sweltering defense, and a dominant fourth quarter, the streaking Heat took charge of the NBA Finals, winning 92-84 on their home court in South Beach. Now Dirk Nowitzki, hampered by an injured tendon in his left middle finger, will attempt to lead the never-say-die Mavericks back into the series and steal one away before the schedule shifts back to Dallas.
The stars were out in full force for Game 1, as LeBron James dominated the game on both sides of the ball, Dwyane Wade poured in 22 clutch points, and Chris Bosh pounded the boards. However, the two most telling stats of all were the ones that the Heat were never supposed to win. Miami dominated the offensive glass, 16-6, while the Heat bench -- led by a sublime performance from Udonis Haslem -- significantly outscored the Dallas bench, 27-17, holding sixth-man-extraordinaire Jason Terry scoreless throughout the second half. In all, the Dallas bench shot a putrid 4-22 from the field.
Game 2 is going to rest on the Dallas' ability to put aside that performance and play like they have this entire postseason. Jason Terry, Peja Stojakovic, and J.J. Barea can't continue to miss wide-open shots if the Mavericks want win the 2011 NBA Finals. This is likely the last shot at the Larry O'Brien Trophy for many of the pivotal Dallas veterans, such as Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, and Dirk Nowitzki, so expect the team to come with a sense of fire and desperation.
Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals between the Heat and Mavericks is scheduled for Thursday at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT on ABC. Needless to say, it is a crucial game for Dallas.
Game 3 June 5, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT
Game 4 June 7, 2011 at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT
Game 5 * June 9, 2011 at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT
Game 6 * June 12, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT
Game 7 * June 14, 2011 at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT
Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki, left, of Germany, talks with Jason Kidd, right, as they stretch during basketball practice Wednesday, June 1, 2011, in Miami. The Mavericks play the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the NBA finals on Thursday in Miami. The Heat lead the best-of-seven games series 1-0. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)