Heat & Mavericks Use Defense And Hustle To Take Lead In Their SeriesBREAKING NEWS, Eastern Conference, NBA, News, Western Conference Monday, May 23rd, 2011
The Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat have taken control of their respective Conference Finals series with victories on separate nights.
Saturday night the Mavericks were fueled by a great defensive effort to hold off the Oklahoma City Thunder 93-87 in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. The scene has shifted to Oklahoma City and the Thunder were flat from the start, trailing 27-12 after one quarter of play. The Mavericks never trailed despite watching their lead dwindle to four points in the waning moments of the game.
The Mavericks got key contributions from Shawn Marion (18 points) and Tyson Chandler (15 rebounds) as Dirk Nowitzki ( 7-2, 18 points) and Jason Terry (3-12, 13 points) struggled from the floor. Jason Kidd chipped in with 13 points and 8 assists.
Despite combining for 54 points, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook shot a combined 15 for 42 from the floor, standout reserve James Harden was 2 for 9 (7 points ) and the bench could only manage 16 points for the game.
Compared to the first two games of the series this was by far the worst offensive output by both as the Mavs shot 44 percent from the floor and the Thunder a woeful 36.5 percent.
As for the Miami Heat, they relied on the scoring of the oft-maligned Chris Bosh to a 96-85 victory in front of a sellout crowd for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Bosh put his offensive arsenal on full display last night going 13 of 18 from the field for 34 points. Bosh seemed to do what he wanted whether it was Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson or Joaquin Noah guarding him. LeBron James flirted with a triple-double as he had 22 points 6 rebounds and 10 assists. James and Dwayne Wade didn’t have great scoring nights but were active in hustle plays and were key in holding Chicago’s Derrick Rose to 20 points.
On a night when Carlos Boozer scores 26 points and pulls down 17 boards the Bulls normally pull out a victory – not tonight. Derrick Rose was 8 for 19 (20 points) and never really got on track. Joakim Noah was in foul trouble early and for most of the game which limited his effectiveness, the Chicago bench was not nearly as productive at either end of the floor as they had been. Miami seemed to just want it more last night.
Dallas/Oklahoma City: Monday 9 pm
Chicago/ Miami: Tuesday 8:30 pm
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