NBA Finals: Heat wants to force Game 7
By Brian Mahoney
MIAMI Heat hopes to force Game 7ó LeBron James came to Miami last summer for the chance to be a champion.
He arrived back here Friday just hoping to be a survivor.
The Dallas Mavericks have a 3-2 lead in the NBA finals and can win their first championship Sunday night. Less than a year after the Heatís free agent victory celebration, the real party might belong to Dirk Nowitzki.
But the Heat, despite consecutive losses that have renewed criticism of their execution and Jamesí ability in the clutch, insist they can still win the first of multiple titles James boasted of upon his arrival in South Florida.
ěI guess they have momentum in the sense they came home and won two games. But each game is its own,î Dwyane Wade said Thursday night. ěWeíre going to come out ó every game has been pretty much a possession here, a possession there. Either team can come in and say they can be up different than what they are. Weíll be coming to the game understanding itís a possession game in Game 6, doing whatever it takes to win the ballgame. So weíre confident.î
So are the Mavericks, who hung in for four games until their offense finally started clicking the way they believed it would. They get two chances to close out the Heat, but stress the importance of doing it on the first try.
ěGame 6 is Game 7 for us,î guard Jason Terry said. ěWe want to play like thereís no tomorrow. If we do that, I have no doubt in my mind we can be successful. We must come out aggressively.î
Wrapping it up on Miamiís floor would be the sweetest revenge for Nowitzki and Terry, who launched the Mavsí final shot that Wade rebounded and fired in the air as the clock expired on Miamiís Game 6 victory in Dallas in the 2006 finals.
That remained the Heatís biggest moment until last July, when James and Chris Bosh agreed to join Wade in Miami. The Heat threw a victory bash, with their three superstars posing and dancing on stage while drawing some ridicule around the league.
Thereís no dancing now.