Mavericks top Heat for NBA title

MIAMI - (AP) - For Dirk Nowitzki, the resume is complete. He's anNBA champion.

For LeBron James, the agonizing wait continues for at least onemore year.

Avenging what happened five years ago in perfect turnaboutstyle, the Dallas Mavericks won their first NBA title by winningGame 6 of these finals in Miami 105-95 on Sunday night -celebrating on the Heat's home floor, just as Dwyane Wade and histeam did to them in the 2006 title series.

Jason Terry scored 27 points, Nowitzki added 21 and theMavericks topped the Miami Heat 105-95 in Game 6 of the NBA finalson Sunday night. The Mavericks won four of the series' last fivegames, a turnabout that could not have been sweeter after seeingthe Heat celebrate their first title in Dallas after Game 6 of the2006 finals.

"Tonight," Terry said, "we got vindication."

James did not. Not even close, and a year unlike any other endedthey way they all have so far - with him still waiting for an NBAtitle.

He scored 21 points for Miami, shook a few hands afterward, anddeparted before most of the Mavs tugged on their championship hatsand T-shirts. Chris Bosh had 19, Mario Chalmers 18 and Dwyane Wade17 for the Heat.

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle joined a highly elite group, those withNBA titles as both a player and a head coach. Only 10 other men areon that list, including the presumably retired-for-good PhilJackson, one of Carlisle's mentors in K.C. Jones, and HeatPresident Pat Riley - who led Miami past Dallas in 2006, and wasthe mastermind of what the Heat did last summer by getting James,Wade and Bosh on the same team with an eye on becoming a dynasty.

It might still happen, of course.

But even after 72 wins this season, including playoffs, the Heatlost the last game. And that means this year was a disappointment -except to just about everyone else in the NBA, or so it would seem.

Hating the Heat became the NBA's craze this season, and the teamknew it had no shortage of critics, everyone from Cleveland (where"Cavs for Mavs" shirts were popular during these finals) toChicago (the city James and Wade both flirted with last summer) andjust about every place in between lining up to take shots at Miami.

Given their newfound popularity, meet the new America's Team.

Sorry, Cowboys - your long-held moniker might have to be cededto your city's NBA club. When it was over, Mavs owner Mark Cubanran onto the court to hug Carlisle, then punched the air andwhooped.

Dallas took control in the second half after some wildback-and-forths in the opening two quarters. Miami took its lastlead of the game - the season - just 64 seconds into the secondhalf, lost it 16 seconds later and chased the Mavericks the rest ofthe way.

They never caught them.

Jason Kidd, at 38 years old, got his first championship.Nowitzki got his at 32, Terry at 33. They were featured on thevideo screen in their building in Dallas during this series on whatseemed like a constant loop, each posing with the NBA trophy andlooking longingly at it, standing mere inches from it, as if to say"so close, yet so far away."

Nowitzki sealed it with 2:27 left, hitting a jumper near theMiami bench to put Dallas up 99-89, and some fans actually beganleaving. Nowitzki walked to the Mavs' side slowly, right fistclenched and aloft.

He knew it. Everyone did. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra implored histeam to foul in the final minute, and even then, they couldn'tcatch the Mavericks.

"All those unique individual stories is what propelled us tothis victory," Terry said.

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