NBA Finals, Mavericks Vs. Heat: History Says Game 3 Is Pivotal

It's a good thing the NBA Finals are headed to Dallas for Game 3 - if you believe in history repeating itself, that is. Since the NBA Finals switched to a 2-3-2 format, when the series is tied at 1-1, the team that won Game 3 won the NBA Finals - every single time. 

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This isn't a small sample size, either. Since the NBA has used the 2-3-2 format, the series has been tied at 1-1 on 11 occasions, most recently last year when the Lakers defeated the Celtics in Game 3, taking a 2-1 series lead before eventually defeating the Celtics in seven games.

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The Mavericks have put themselves in a position to take a 2-1 series lead, as the series shifts back to Dallas on Sunday night for Game 3. Not only did the Mavericks steal home court away from the Heat in Game 2, they did it with a stunning comeback, or colossal collapse - whichever you prefer. 

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Needless to say, though, the 11 previous instances have exactly zero bearing on what happens in Games 4, 5, and if necessary, 6 and 7. It's important for the Mavericks to hold home court and at least take two of three in Dallas so they don't find themselves staring elimination in the face when, and if, they head back to Miami.

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