Dallas Mavericks beat Miami Heat to win first NBA title in franchise history

As hard as it is to believe, snow fell on a steamy June night on South Beach. Today, Dallas sports fans will hit every green light on the way to work.
Yes, the Mavericks are NBA champions, which validates the idea that anything’s possible.
The little franchise that never could just did.
The Mavericks soundly whipped the Miami Heat, 105-95, on Sunday night to finish a mesmerizing NBA Finals with a 4-2 win in the best-of-7 series. For hours, with the Larry O’Brien championship trophy escorting them, the Mavericks partied at American Airlines Arena and on into the night.
“City of Dallas, we’re coming home,” said Jason Terry, who was sensational with 27 points in Game 6. “This team has a heart the size of Texas. Champions — that’s all you gotta say.”

The Mavericks closed out the Heat just as they had closed out Oklahoma City , the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland in earlier rounds of the playoffs. They never lost when they had a chance to end a series, going 4-0.
It’s the first championship for the Mavericks, who have been in existence since 1980. They overwhelmed the Miami Big Three of LeBron James , Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with a deep, versatile stable of players. Dirk Nowitzki , Jason Kidd and Terry all had been to the NBA Finals before and lost. They now will forever be known as NBA champions.

It’s the first title of any kind for a Dallas sports team since the Stars won the NHL championship in 1999.
That it happened on Miami’s home court made it even sweeter. It was five years ago that the Heat danced and partied at American Airlines Center in Dallas when the Mavericks lost by the same 4-2 series result.
Redemption has never tasted so sweet.
“Everybody in the world was calling us the one-and-done boys,” owner Mark Cuban said. “But this team has so much heart and so much determination.”
They won it with a delicious mix of grit, resourcefulness and relentless, aggressive play that took apart one of the NBA’s best defenses with 50-percent shooting, even though Nowitzki was just 9-of-27 from the field.
After a combined 30 seasons, Nowitzki and Kidd felt particularly humbled by the accomplishment.
“Just this feeling to be on the best team in the world is just indescribable,” said Nowitzki, who was named Finals MVP. “We’re world champions. It sounds unbelievable.”
Believe it.

They got there with a huge effort in a hostile environment, although there was a section of several hundred Mavericks’ fans wearing royal-blue shirts and screaming wildly as the final ticks ran off the clock.
The Mavericks led virtually the entire second half. They had lost a 12-point first-half lead and were down 56-55 early in the third quarter before Nowitzki, who was 1-of-12 from the field in the first half, got going in the third quarter. The Mavericks scored eight consecutive points and never trailed again.
They were up 74-71 with under two minutes to go in the third period and closed with 7-1 surge that included a buzzer-beating 16-footer by little-used Ian Mahinmi. In many ways, that typified these Mavericks. Mahinmi had 11 very effective minutes with key offensive rebounds, four points and five well-timed fouls.

The Mavericks got up by 12 in the fourth quarter and never let the Heat closer than seven as Terry and Nowitzki had 16 of their 24 points.
At the end, Cuban and coach Rick Carlisle were the first to share a long hug.
Game 6 was every bit as gripping as the entire series had been. The teams were separated by four points in the first five games combined.
The Heat faltered because of a slew of missed free throws (they made only 20 of 33) and they never seemed to solve the Mavericks’ defense, which forced 17 turnovers for 27 points, 17 more than the Heat scored off 14 Mavericks miscues.
“This is a very special group,” said Terry. “We knew it in training camp. I knew what this group of guys could do. They had three pieces and we had 14 or 15.”
Quantity, as it turns out, was ushered to the championship with heart, determination and a healthy dose of quality play.

via Dallas Morning News

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