Dirk Nowitzki added another memorable performance to this year’s NBA Finals, scoring several key baskets in the final minutes of a thrilling 86-83 victory over the Miami Heat. Dirk entered the game with a fever and flu-like symptoms, but fought through his illness to score a team-high 21 points.
Unlike Game 3, he had plenty of help this time. Jason Terry tossed in 17 points, Shawn Marion added 16, and Tyson Chandler had another solid performance while muscling in 13 points and 16 rebounds.
The Miami Heat once again struggled to find their rhythm in the closing minutes, with Mike Miller punctuating a wild, sloppy play at the end of the game by throwing up an air ball at the buzzer.
Dwayne Wade finished with 32 points, Chris Bosh had 24, and LeBron James finished with 8 points (3/11 shooting), 9 rebounds, and 7 assists. While James’ stat line might be satisfactory for your average NBA player, this was not what the Heat expected from the superstar who ceremoniously brought “his talents to South Beach”. Murmurs are sure to abound after this performance, which brings back memories of last year’s playoff series against the Boston Celtics when James disappeared during crucial stretches and was eventually accused of “quitting” by Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.
The series is now tied up at 2-2, with Game 5 being played in Dallas. Games 6 (and 7 if necessary) will be played in Miami.