James, Heat take Game 1
MIAMI Dwyane Wade’s night began with a hug for his mom. It ended with an embrace from LeBron James.
And the Miami Heat have struck first in the NBA finals.
James scored 24 points for his first win in five finals-game appearances, Wade added 22 points and 10 rebounds and the Heat beat the Dallas Mavericks, 92-84, in Game 1 of the title series on Tuesday night.
The Heat trailed by eight points early in the third quarter before pulling away, remaining unbeaten at home in these playoffs and snapping Dallas’ five-game road winning streak.
Chris Bosh scored 19 points—holding up three fingers when it was over, a clear nod to the three wins Miami needs for a title—and Mario Chalmers added 12 for the Heat, who host Game 2 on Thursday night.
“I just was aggressive,” Wade said. “We understand that this is the kind of game we wanted to play. We had them where we wanted them in the sense of points. ... We just executed and guys made plays.”
Wade’s three-pointer with 3:06 left put the Heat up 82-73, then the largest lead of the game for either team. The Mavs shaved two points off it on the next possession when Dirk Nowitzki hit two free throws, but James gave the Heat their first double-digit lead of the finals a few seconds later.
Nowitzki, who was 12 for 12 from the line, scored 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Dallas.