It almost fell apart - again - for the Miami Heat on Sunday at Dallas' American Airlines Center. There were glimmers of that Game 2 Mavericks comeback, but as Chris Bosh sank a 16-foot jumper with 39.6 seconds left, Dallas' hopes of taking a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals slowly faded.
With less than five seconds left on the clock in Sunday's Game 3, Dallas big man Dirk Nowitzki couldn't shake a tough Miami defense, and he missed what would have been a game-tying shot, sealing Miami's 88-86 win. SI.com's Ian Thomsen explains that the back and forth battle bodes well for both teams as the series moves to Game 4 on¬†Tuesday.
"Neither team can feel secure, and yet both have reason for optimism after Game 3," Thomsen writes. "The Mavs¬†have two remaining home games that may yet send them back to Miami needing just one win to celebrate their first championship. James has shot a scant 10 free throws in three games, and yet he was increasingly aggressive while dunking off the dribble either in transition or the half court. Nowitzki had a splendid 34 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, and if he could just realize more production from his teammates - who went 17-for-49 and for a second straight game watched him score all their points down the stretch (the last 12 this time) - a tight loss like this could turn into a steadying Dallas victory Tuesday in Game 4."
There's a break in NBA Finals action Monday, but the NHL's Stanley Cup Finals are still going strong:
Vancouver Canucks vs. Boston Bruins¬†(8 p.m., ET) The Bruins will look to rally in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals and cut into the Canucks‚Äô 2-0 lead at Boston's TD Garden.
By The Numbers
20 - Number of months former Giants receiver Plaxico¬†Burress¬†spent in prison for illegally carrying and firing a gun in a Manhattan nightclub. Burress was released Monday morning.
9 - Number of laps led by Brad Keselowski¬†at the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on Sunday. Keselowski won the race, earning his first Sprint Cup victory in 66 races.
6 - Number of French Open championships Rafael Nadal¬†has notched in his career. The record-tying sixth championship came Sunday against Roger Federer.