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Dirk and the Mavs Gut Out Game 4



" You have to let sleeping dogs lie sometimes."

Those were the words of Chris Bosh in response to the comments made by Jason Terry who called out Lebron James and the Heat's defense before Tuesday's Game 4.

Well Terry and company must have woken up, even with a sick dog in Dirk Nowitzki, who was bothered by a fever. The prescription for the success this time? End the game on a 21-9 run to win 86 to 83.

The Mavericks came from behind again, and knotted the series up at 2 games a piece in dramatic fashion, relying not soley on Nowitzki, but the other starters and company as well.

With Nowitzki on fire the first couple minutes, he seem primed for another stellar performance. But after 6 points in in the first two minutes, Nowitzki went cold and struggled throughout the game until the fourth.

It was the play of the other starters and the bench who kept the game within reach, the same ones who have been called out by the media for not giving Dirk enough help.

Minus Dirk the team combined for 65 points. They got a huge contribution from Jason Terry, who stepped up to Dirk's challenge of performing in the clutch. Terrry scored 8 of his 17 points in the final quarter.

It was Terry, the one doing all the pregame chatter, who showed up as he ignited yet another rally for the Mavs.

 It was not Bosh, who had a fine night in the first half scoring 16 points, but otherwise struggled, or Lebron. This is not a stat sheet error, Lebron scored 8, just 8 points during the entire game.

But even in the loss, the other one in the trio, Dwayne Wade, showed again why this Heat team is his.

He came through with another strong performance, scoring 32 points but being very effective on the defensive end as well. He did however, fail to come up clutch in the end, fumbling the inbounds pass in the closing seconds.

The other superstar, Nowitzki, may have had a fever, but when it mattered most he hit the shots he needed to, especially the one against Udonis Haslem with just 14 seconds to go. It also helped that he hit all of his six free throws in the fourth.

And while Dirk deserves praise for his valiant effort, Tyson Chandler may have been the real player of the game, who kept numerous possessions alive with his offensive rebounds and timely baskets. He finished the game with 16 rebounds and 13 points. 

So with Game 5 in Dallas, it will be interesting to see how Miami regroups after another letdown in the fourth quarter.

If you forget about that, it will be extremely intriguing to see how Lebron responds to "shrinking" in the fourth for the second game in the row. He did it once when Dwayne Wade had the hot hand, but he did it again tonight, when he failed to reach double figures.

One thing that we do know though, this series is shaping up to be one of the most epic finals in NBA history.








James will have to ask himself a lot of questions tomorrow.


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