DALLAS (AP) Dirk Nowitzki waited five long years for that elusive third victory over Miami, yet there was only a short celebration when it finally came.
He briefly thrust both arms in the air, a sea of blue screaming around him, but then quickly walked off the floor.
To Nowitzki, the real party can’t come until next week.
“There’s really nothing to celebrate,” he said. “We’re going in there Sunday swinging, like we did today, from the jump, and hopefully steal one Sunday.”
And now it really is “now or never” for LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
Nowitzki scored 29 points, driving for the go-ahead dunk with 2:45 remaining, and the Mavericks beat the Heat 112-103 on Thursday night to take a 3-2 series lead.
The Mavs, who blew a 2-0 lead against the Heat in the 2006 finals, can wrap up their first championship in Game 6 at Miami on Sunday night.