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NBA Finals, Game 4: Mavericks Beat Heat, Even Up Series

The Dallas Mavericks came up big on Tuesday night, defeating the Miami Heat 86-83 to even up the NBA Finals at two games a piece. 

The Mavericks trailed the Heat by two points at the half, but once again, rallied late in the game. Dallas' defense held the Heat to just 14 fourth quarter points - which is pretty remarkable for a team that boasts Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

Just like the past two games, Game 4 of the NBA Finals came down to the last shot. With the Mavericks up by one point with just over 30 seconds to play, Dirk Nowitzki drove to the basket to hit a layup with 14 seconds left, giving the Mavericks a three point lead.

Wade would then drive in for an uncontested dunk, cutting Dallas' lead to one point. Miami fouled Jason Terry with six seconds to play, and Terry nailed both free throws, putting Dallas up by three.

Out of a timeout, Miami looked to get the ball to Wade, who fumbled the ball, dove backcourt to save a back court violation and managed to get the ball to Mike Miller, who missed a three as time expired, sealing the win for Dallas.

The Mavericks won despite one of Nowitzki's worst performances so far, as the German was just 6-19 shooting from the field tonight. As usual, though, Nowitzki was excellent from the free throw line, shooting nine out of 10. 

Nowitzki did finish with a double-double, with 21 points and 11 rebounds - and this is despite having a fever of 103. 

Tyson Chandler played a team high 43 minutes for the Mavericks, scoring 13 points while grabbing 16 rebounds - seven of them offensive. 

Brendan Haywood did play for just over three minutes, scoring no points and going -10 in his brief time on the court. 

Dallas' defense was excellent once again, holding LeBron James to a meager eight points in 46 minutes. James was three of eleven shooting from the field, but did have nine rebounds and seven assists. 

Game 5 will be held in Dallas on Thursday, as the Mavericks look to take a 3-2 series lead headed back to Miami. 

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.