NBA Finals: Heat lead Mavs 2-1

via Games |
DALLAS (AP) Back in Dallas, the site of his greatest triumph, Dwyane Wade knew exactly what to do.

The NBA finals were up for grabs and he was determined to seize control.

Wade began setting the tone in practice the day before Game 3 and never let up. Soaring to the rim, chasing every loose ball and demanding the best from his teammates, Wade guided the Miami Heat to an 88-86 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night that puts them two wins from the championship. Game 4 is Tuesday.

“(I) took it upon myself as a leader to try to lead my guys by example,” he said. “I was very aggressive going to the hole practicing. My teammates seen it. They can tell that I wanted this game, and I came in with the same mentality today.”

Wade led Miami with 29 points and 11 rebounds, yet there was so much more to his performance.

There were timely shots, such as scoring seven of Miami’s final nine points, and smart plays on defense, such as flustering Dirk Nowitzki into passing instead of taking a potential go-ahead shot in the final half-minute.

The 2006 finals MVP also dished out harsh words and uplifting ones for LeBron James, Chris Bosh and anyone else he thought needed them.

Regardless of what Wade specifically said, his teammates fed off the passion and intensity behind them.

“At this point there’s no room to hold anything back,” James said. “As a competitor, you love when guys challenge you. He challenged me in the locker room at halftime. He challenged me on the court. … I respect that.”