Matt Benjamin breaks down the Heat win!

Hondo S. Carpenter

Heat Wave In Championship (95-92)

By Matt Benjamin 

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It turns out the improbable comeback in Game 3 of the 2006 NBA Finals changed the complexion of the series after all. At the time, the collapse with 6:30 remaining in the fourth quarter seemed to be just a glitch in the plans for the Mark Cuban’s team to win its first championship.Â
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Everyone expected the Mavericks to return to regular-season form and learn from their mistakes that caused the debacle. However it turns out Miami’s 22-7 run in the fourth quarter that allowed them to steal game three would prove to be the inspiration the Heat needed to catch fire.Â
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You can blame the refs. Or you can blame the commissioner for rigging the league (unless you are a owner). But clearly Game 3’s emotional breakdown caused the momentum swing in the series.
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Tonight the championship series moved out west to Dallas where the game was paramount, which drove the home crowd into a frenzy. Early on in the contest the Mavericks fed off the energy and took an early 14-point lead. Just like chalk it was easily erased, as Wade scored 19 points and took the Heat back to the locker room at halftime with a 49-48 lead.Â
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Dallas trailed throughout the entirety of the 3rd (missing 11 straight shots) and would find themselves down 71-68 as the horn sounded to end the quarter. Although the scoreboard signified the balance of the two teams, those witnessing the game, whether in the arena or at home, could feel the wrath of D. Wade growing and the inevitable end to the Maverick’s season.Â
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In the 4th quarter Dallas received a fast break because Gary Payton was talking to the ref and a pass hit off his foot. However, on the ensuing break Alonzo Mourning ran the floor and rejected the easy lay up. The hustle by Mourning to get back and prevent the easy two showcased Miami’s desire to win.Â
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As the game came to a close Wade found himself back on the foul line, with two more free throws and another chance to put the game away. He missed both. Would this be the break the Mavericks needed? Only down three, could they tie the game? This time they had a timeout left and called it before the pass in. As Jason Terry ran the floor with 9 seconds left, the best three-point shooter on the team, the crowd held their breath, then released. The ball bounced off the back rim and the game was over.Â
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It was Miami’s first championship and it was won with heart and sweat. It was Pat Riley’s first in 18 years. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It was there time.
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Notes

A surprise tonight was the incredible performance put on by Udonis Haslem. Throughout June he had been averaging 5.8 rebounds and 5 points per game. Tonight? Well he pulled down an impressive 9 rebounds and put up 17 important points on the scoreboard. Dwayne Wade was the MVP of the series, but maybe Haslem should receive an award for punctuality, Best Time To Step Up.

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