SI.com: Despite loss, Mavericks have reason for optimism
Dirk Nowitzki (center) needs more help from his teammates, SI.com's Ian Thomsen says.
June 6th, 2011
05:23 PM ET

SI.com: Despite loss, Mavericks have reason for optimism

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’ 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.

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Filed under: Basketball • NBA • Sports
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Anthony's Case Posts

    While Casey Anthony's murder trial played out in front of the nation last week, another, quieter case involving a dead child was being tried in the same Orlando courthouse.

    Amanda Brumfield, 32, the estranged daughter of Billy Bob Thornton, sat just 13 floors below in Florida's Orange County Courthouse, accused of murdering 1-year-old Olivia Madison Garcia. On Friday, she was convicted of aggravated manslaughter.

    How did a baby - Brumfield's goddaughter, no less - die while in her care on that day in October 2008?

    Brumfield claims Olivia's death was an accident, and that the baby had simply fallen a short distance out of a playpen. But prosecutors said it would be "impossible" for that type of fall to cause the 3-inch fracture found on the girl's skull and the bleeding and swelling on her brain.

    An Estrangement

    Since Brumfield's arrest, the details of the case have been intertwined with questions about Brumfield's relationship with her Oscar-winning father.

    Thornton, 55, has admitted he wasn't around for her when she was young; he and her mother, Thornton's first wife Melissa Gatlin, split in 1980, and Brumfield has made clear the separation stung.

    "He's pretty much made me feel like I've been shut out," Brumfield told Inside Edition in 2001. "I mean, I have nothing against him. I love him. He's my father. I just want him to be around. I don't want to cry, but it's not fair to watch him on TV every day, and I can't even get a call."

    Thornton, who has three younger children by two other women, has spoken about his guilt regarding Brumfield.

    "She didn't grow up with me, and so we were pretty much strangers for years," Thornton told the U.K.'s Mail on Sunday in 2005. "Then a few years later, we reconnected, and it's really good now."

    June 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cesar The Chorizo Champ Of Chihuahua

    Two horrible teams battling it out for absolutely no reason.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. €Engleberthumperdink¥£

    Wow ACP is so full of energy.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. lone fan

    Go Mavs! (ahem) Sorry. I'll be quiet. Vancouver SUX! Ok, now i will i promise.

    June 6, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Billy Bob

    Ya got me all choked up ACP. And you are wrong about Casey btw.

    June 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy

    @€¥£:

    ACP is full of *something*!

    June 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy

    It would be different if ACP weren't ripping off another reporter's work.
    One would think CNN would get a little upset....

    June 6, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. lone fan

    It's like being in jail. Most of the inmates want to watch soap operas. Missed a Super Bowl once so that nobody missed that weeks episode of 'House'. Ever seen a grown man turn into an old lady?

    June 6, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy

    Ewwww, no.....and I don't want to!

    June 6, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Anthony's Case Posts

    While Casey Anthony lived a web of lies, it seems that the lies were mostly pragmatic ways to put off the inevitable…her mother finding her out. What if instead of planning to kill her child she was planning to kill her mother. It may seem strange at first, until you realize that both Mr. House and Mr. Lazzaro testified that Casey was planning to move back into “her home as soon as the parents moved out” , either into their own apartment, ” or left the house to her”. While we know well that the parents were financially strapped and had no intention of doing this, these statements shed light into her cognitions and fantasies concerning her parents? “neck breaking”? “chloroform”? Don’t those search terms indicate methods to subdue a full grown adult, and not a child after all? Perhaps her daughter’s death wasn’t planned after all, and perhaps we will never know, but, the planning of Casey’s mother’s death would have been no accident and would have brought insurance revenue into the home. Just food for thought.

    June 6, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. €Engleberthumperdink¥£

    @banasy: Full of something indeed. Hey ACP, why don't you add a bit of personality in your posts instead of just paste and copy??

    June 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |