NBA Finals Game 2 Live Blog

by Lang Whitaker | @langwhitaker

OK, I’m heading over to AmericanAirlines Arena, my favorite run-on arena in the League, for Game 2 of the Finals. Will Dirk’s injured finger slow him down? Will Bron/Wade/Bosh come to play again? Lots to be answered. I’ll be back closer to game time to blog away. In the meantime, feel free to talk amongst yourselves…

OK, it’s 8:40 PM and I’m in my seat here in AAA. Instead of doing the media dinner pregame, Sekou, Mike Lee and I opted for Bongos, the Cuban restaurant built in to the back of the arena. The food was great, but there was so much going on — horns, smoke, sirens, music — that it was bit like eating inside a bongo.

Went back inside and watched both teams shoot around, and didn’t notice anything earth-shattering. Mark Cuban was hanging around courtside, first time I’d seen him this week. Dirk was out running through drills and looked fine to these eyes.

Anyway….we’re about to tip…

• National Anthem tonight by 10 year old Julia Dale, who is ready to win America’s Got Talent.

• I’m really curious about how Miami comes out tonight. Dallas just didn’t play well in Game 1, and I wonder if they’re due for a big night tonight.

• Same starting 5s for both squads tonight. Dallas wins tip and run Dirk off a baseline screen. He misses a 12 footer over a double team. Heat come right back and Wade hits a runner. Bosh misses, then Dirk rises and fires and scores.

• Dallas doubles Bron on the wing first time he catches the ball. They find an open Bosh but he misses on the baseline. Next time down the Mavs double/trap Wade, and he finds an open Bosh in the middle of the paint for the 10-footer.

• After a Marion bucket, Miami tries a long outlet pass and DeShawn Stevenson goes head-first into the stands and takes a while to extricate himself. I think some fans drew a few more tattoos on him while he was in there.

• Dallas comes back down and Stevenson finds himself open on the wing, and he drains the long three, then does the thing where he looks through his hand. I sorta miss the I can’t feel my face thing.

• Kidd drains a three to make it 12-6, Dallas. Remember what I wrote about Dallas getting off to a hot start?

• Wade answers with a three. Dirk misses a two, and LeBron makes a pass into the front row of the stands, then comes down and is called for a foul on Tyson Chandler on a dunk attempt.

• With about 7 minutes to go in the first, Peja checks in. Miami goes right at him, causes some chaos, and Wade ends up weaving his way to the basket for a layup. Next time down, Wade posts Stevenson, then whips it out to Bron for a three. Miami goes ahead 14-13, with 5:53 to go in the first.

• Out of the timeout, Dallas posts Kidd on Bibby, and he spins and whips a pass to the corner to…nobody. Bosh goes right around Peja and scores, and scores, and then Dallas turns it over again. Bron misses a three, and then Kidd comes off a curl and misses a J.

• Dallas isn’t able to recover fast enough on D when they rotate, and Miami’s getting a lot of open looks. Bibby just knocked down his second three of the quarter. Stevenson responded and did the weird looking through his fingers thing again.

• Some fan came out of the stands to shoot a three with a chance to win a trip to Dallas for Game 3. He shot an airball that missed by about three feet, but for some reason this meant a different fan got a trip to Dallas.

• After that there was a video tribute to Shaq’s time in Miami that was pretty great, which ended with “Congratulations Shaq on a great career.” Polite applause by the fans.

• Udonis Haslem checks in for Dallas, and Jason Terry replaces Stevenson. Almost immediately, Haslem and Joel Anthony fight each other for a ball going out of bounds and lose it.

• Peja comes down and turns it over to Bibby. Back the other way and Bibby misses a three, but Bron times it perfectly and catches the rebound with one hand and tomahawks it home. Whoa. Heat up 23-20.

• Miami brings in Miller and Chalmers. Dallas counters with Barea. Dirk strokes a 13 footer.

• Haywood gets loose and gets a dunk blocked by Joe Anthony. Marion gets the ball and gets fouled by Bron, his second foul. Bron responds by stroking a three on the other end.

• OK, so after 1, the score is tied at 28. After being outrebounded by 10 in Game 1, the Mavs have 8 boards to Miami’s 7. Peja played 5 minutes and has a -7 plus/minus. Bron and Wade each have 8 points, and Stevenson and Marion have 6 apiece. Dirk has 4.

• Barea drives and makes a floater, only his second bucket of the Finals. Next time down he drives and dishes to a cutting Marion for two. Barea’s doing Barea things tonight.

• Next time down Miami plays good defense, and with the shot clock winding down Dallas throws to Dirk in the corner. He catches with Bosh right on him, dribbles hard to his left twice, and then pulls for an off-balance 18-footer. Two things: First, I think his left hand is fine. And B, what a luxury to have a guy who can not only create a shot for himself but drill a 17-footer with a good 6-11 dude checking him.

• Nine minutes to go in the second, LeBron out, and Wade does that thing where he stands at the top of the key and somehow zig-zags through the other team and gets to the rim for a bucket. Haven’t seen enough of that this postseason.

• Loos ball and Mike Miller dives on top. Barea dives into him and appears to accidentally deliver a knee to the face. Miller shoves back and Joey Crawford sort of scoots between them. Calls a T on Miller, I guess for the shove. The technical free throw makes it 40-34, Dallas.

• Bosh misses a runner and Wade goes about a foot above the rim and slams home the miss. Moments later, Miami gets a break and Wade runs right at Barea, goes around him, and gets the dunk.

• After a TO, Dirk misses a jumper but Chandler is there for the offensive rebound and put-back. That gives Chandler 3 rebounds already tonight, 1 less than he had in 33 minutes in Game 1.

• Wade drives the paint and flips up a pass to the guy cutting along the baseline. At the end of Game 1 it was Bron, and he dunked it. Tonight, it’s Joel Anthony. He makes a nice catch and dishes it back out.

• 3:22 in the second and Bron picks up his third foul. See you in the second half, Bron! Dallas up 49-42. Wade gets loose on a breakaway and appears to get shoved from behind by Chandler, but no call. He misses the layup and spins and goes after Kenny Mauer. Dallas scores on the other end to go up 51-42.

• Moments later, Chandler catches under the rim and Anthony blocks his shot. Somehow they call a foul on Chandler. Next time down Miami has maybe their best defensive sequence of the game, forcing a 24 second violation on Dallas.

• Dos Minutos!

• Chalmers to the line and he misses two free throws. Miami’s 4-9 from the free throw line tonight. Mavs up 51-46. Next time Wade gets Marion on him on a switch, pumps him into the air and gets two free throws. Good, good. Dallas misses a J, and Miami forces it back and Wade hits a three to tie it at 51. Dirk misses a J, and that’s the end of the half. 51-51.

• Seems like both teams concentrating on rebounds — only 5 offensive boards combined in the first half. Wade carried Miami — 21 of their 51 points. Meanwhile Dallas has 4 of their 5 starters with at least 9 points. Only starter with less was Kidd, and he had 3, 4 and 4.

• After a couple of misses and a turnover, Miami gets a dunk from Bron to start the half. A few plays later, Wade gets a runout, creates some contact with Dirk and somehow slips behind him, almost like he hit the R1 button in Madden, and sails in for a sweet reverse dunk. Miami goes ahead 57-52.

• Carlisle takes a TO and the teams return and miss a few jumpers, which sort of sucks the momentum out of the place. Then Wade catches in the post against Kidd, backs him down, spins and dunks hard, which wakes everyone up.

• Dirk gets a T, I think for running into LeBron, though it’s unclear exactly why. Bron misses the free throw. Ball don’t lie.

• Bibby knocks down his third three of the game. for a guy who hadn’t scored in his four previous games, he’s having a heckuva night.

• Marion scores on consecutive possessions for Dallas, which gives me the chance to make that Matrix sound effect.

• The Custodian! Brian Cardinal checks in for Dallas, and immediately Miami steals the ball from Kidd. I was hoping they’d run something for him. Next time down, Cardinal leaves Bibby alone in the corner to help, and Bibby knocks down his 4th three.

• Sorry, internet went down there for a minute. Miami up 71-65, 1:31 to play.

• Bron turns it over in the open floor and Dallas scores to make it a 4 point game. Bibby comes back and hits a shot going to his left. I can say this about Bibby from watching him play with the Hawks: He’s really good at going to his left and shooting with his right hand. Next time down Bron gets a huge dunk in just a static halfcourt set. Geez. Thing is, Dallas is matching every bucket. After three, Heat lead 75-71. Dallas has a big advantage on the glass — 29-22 — but Miami’s shooting over 50 pct from the floor tonight.

• Haywood opens the fourth giving an intentional foul on Haslem, then limping/hopping off the court and running straight into the locker room. Marion scores for Dallas, then the Mavs force a Miami turnover and have the ball down two with 10:16 to go. Spoelstra calmly send LeBron into the game. Immediately, Dallas turns it over and Wade gets a dunk at the other end. Miami then forces the Mavs into a 24 second violation. Chalmers brings it up with Barea all over him. Three times Barea leans back like he got bumped, without a call. Chalmers runs him off a Bosh screen, gets to the rim and scores. Heat back up 79-73. 9:16 to go. TO.

• Celeb spotting during the TO: Flo Rida, Lil Weezy, Sean Paul.

• Out of the TO, MIA traps Terry as he looks to get the ball to Dirk and strips him. Wade goes one on three and draws a foul. Sekou next to me points out Dirk has outscored Mike Bibby by one point (15 to 14).

• Chalmers misses a three from the corner and Bosh comes right down the lane and dunks the follow. Dallas turns it over, and Wade comes back and draws a foul. Two more from the line.

• Dallas misses a three, and Bron comes charging downcourt on the break. He jumps into the air around the free throw lone, looks right at a cutting Haslem, who gets covered, and while he’s still in the air, he looks left and finds a cutting Chalmers. That pass was pretty ill, but then Chalmers catches under the basket and whips it out to the corner to Wade, who drains the three. Miami’s up 88-73, with 7:14 to go. Over?

• Terry gets a two, then a runout two, and now it’s 88-77, 5:45 to play. Spoelstra burns a timeout, as much for fun as anything, I guess.

• Out of the TO, Bron gets to the rim and shorts a finger roll. Terry gets to the line for Dallas and hits both, to make it 88-79. Still 5:20 t0 play.

• Dallas forces Miami into a bad shot at the shot clock buzzer. Dallas goes to Dirk, who finds Marion flashing to the rim. 88-81.

• Bron goes hard to the rim and draws a foul on Chandler. I think Miami figured as long as their going to waste the clock, they might as well try to get to the basket and draw fouls. He hits both, and Kidd nails a three to make it a six-point game with 3:36 to go. Bron dribbles and misses a fadeaway, and Dallas rebounds. Kidd finds Terry, who hits a runner to make it 90-86, with 3:11 left. So…not over.

• Since Wade’s corner three, Dallas is on a 13-2 run.

• For a second I thought the crowd was chanting “M.O.P.” But they’re actually chanting “Let’s Go Heat!”

• And out of the timeout, Bosh dribbles out of bounds along the baseline. Dirk gets an open 18 footer and rattles it in. Two point game. Haslem misses a long jumper and Dallas comes down with a chance to tie it. Miami does a nice job stopping them. Miami comes back and gets three possessions and can’t score. And then on a runout, Dirk scores — lefty, of course — to tie the game. 90 all. 57.6 left. Wow. 17-2 run since that corner three from Wade.

• Dallas doubles Bron, then Wade, and he takes a contested three and misses. Dallas comes right back and Dirk rips a three, clean. 20-2 run for Dallas. Dallas up 93-90. 26.7 left.

• Chalmers! Out of the TO, Mario drains the three and ties the game at 93. 24.5 left.

• Dallas runs the clock down and goes to Dirk. He spins to the rim, throws up ANOTHER lefty layup and puts Dallas up 95-93. Miami rushes back and Wade takes a long three that hits the rim and misses. Dallas wins, 95-93. Wow.