Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks hit the game-winner during Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki has been looking for redemption against the Miami Heat, and he got some in a big way on Thursday night.
Nowitzki capped off an improbable fourth quarter comeback during Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals by beating Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh off the dribble to hit a running left-handed layup in the game's closing seconds. Nowitzki's layup provided the winning margin of the 95-93 final score and finished off an astonishing 22-5 run in the final 6:20 seconds of the fourth quarter.
Mavericks guard Jason Kidd set up Nowitzki's big moment by finding him with a bounce pass near the three point line with the score tied at 93 apiece with roughly 10 seconds remaining. Nowitzki was being guarded solo by Bosh and he said in a post-game interview that he started his drive to the basket a bit earlier than usual.
"They actually had a foul to give, so I think I went a little earlier thinking they might foul," Nowitzki said.
Bosh didn't, electing to play straight up defense, and Nowitzki didn't hesitate.
After a hard dribble to the right and a spin back to his left, Nowitzki used a hitch dribble to free his body from Bosh's and attacked the paint with his left hand. Heat forward LeBron James elected not to double-team, leaving Nowitzki a fairly clean entry into the paint.
Heat forward Udonis Haslem attempted to rotate over from the weak side, but was too late, and Nowitzki tossed up a running left-handed runner which banked in off the glass, rounded the rim and dropped with less than four seconds to play. The finish was particularly impressive given that Nowitzki tore a tendon in his left ring finger during Game 1 on Tuesday night.
"I made a move and the foul never came," Nowitzki said flatly. "I was able to get to the basket and lay it in. That was a big play."
Miami, out of timeouts, inbounded the ball and rushed up court quickly, but Heat guard Dwyane Wade could not hit a running desperation three-pointer as time expired.
Here's a look at Nowitzki's game-winning heroics.
Nowitzki finished with a team-high 24 points, to go along with 11 rebounds, four assists and a block on 10-for-22 shooting in 42 minutes.
The NBA Finals series is now tied at one game apiece. The teams head back to Dallas to play Game 3 on Sunday night.