Comeback or Collapse? Mavericks Drop Game Three

The Dallas Mavericks chance at staying alive in Game Three slipped away as easily as their 13 point lead in the fourth

With 1.4 second left on the game clock, Dirk Nowitzki missed a game tying freethrow.

"I missed the freethrow. I was a little strong so, this was a tough (loss) to swallow for us," Nowitzki said after the game. 

The Heat staged their largest post season comeback in team history in the last six and a half minutes of the game.

"We were stuck in mud," said Heat Coach Pat Riley. "I think it was an absolute case of team that wanted it so much."

"We got into sort of a hole," said Heat Center Shaquille O'Neal. "We still made a lot of silly mistakes but we never gave up, we just kept playing. We showed a lot of heart "

Still battling illness it was Dwayne Wade who really brought the heat, scoring 15 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter.

"Even with Wade scoring like that we still had a chance to win the game, but we just had a really bad fourth quarter," said Mavericks Coach Avery Johnson.

The Heat also beat the Mavericks in the area they usually dominate: rebounding. Miami with nine more boards than Dallas.

"We couldn't get anything going offensively or defensively in the fourth quarter," Johnson said. "So give them some credit. "

"The important thing is no matter how we got there I know we can play a lot better than we played," Riley said. 

The Mavericks look to come back stronger in game four.

"This is a team that really detest losing," Johnson said. 

Game Four is set for Thursday night. You can catch the Mavericks and Heat in action on KLTV 7 beginning at 8 p.m.

Maya Golden reporting,