MIAMI (AP) Any pain in Dirk Nowitzki’s left hand wouldn’t have hurt nearly as much as a 2-0 deficit.
So he put the ball there – torn-up finger and all – and hoisted the shot that gave the Dallas Mavericks new life in the NBA finals.
Nowitzki shook off an injury to his non-shooting hand and made the tie-breaking layup with 3.6 seconds left, and the Mavericks roared back from 15 points down in the fourth quarter to stun the Miami Heat 95-93 on Thursday night and tie the series at one game apiece.
“You can just sense it in us that we weren’t going to give up, we were going to be resilient,” Dallas guard Jason Terry said.
Capping a furious rally by scoring Dallas’ final nine points, Nowitzki made two late baskets left-handed – despite a torn tendon on his middle finger. He finished with 24 points, saying the finger felt fine.
“Definitely a huge comeback for us and we never gave up, and that was big,” Nowitzki said.
Nowitzki was hurt in Game 1 when he slapped at the ball trying to make a steal from Chris Bosh. He fiddled with various braces and splints over the last two days before settling on a small one that sat lower on the finger and allowed him to keep a good feel of the ball.
Dwyane Wade had 36 points for Miami, but his desperation 3-pointer was off at the buzzer.
Game 3 is Sunday in Dallas.