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The Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks Play In Game 5 of the NBA Finals

The Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks are now down to a best two-out-of three as both teams vie for the NBA title.

For nearly a year, LeBron James has shaken off the criticism, laughed off the trash talk.

None of it mattered to James, not as long as the Miami Heat remained on the route to a championship.

But when that pursuit became threatened in part by his own poor play, James couldn’t ignore the only critic that matters: himself.

James said Wednesday he “didn’t play well” in Game 4, when the Dallas Mavericks edged the Heat 86-83 to even the series at two games apiece after the two-time MVP failed to find ways to make an impact offensively.

The Heat arrived about 30 minutes late for their interview session Wednesday after watching extra film of the game, though they could have saved time by just fast-forwarding through James’ no-show.

He scored only eight points, held in single digits for the first time in 90 career playoff games, and attempted only 11 shots. James said he criticized himself all night, taking solace that he had at least two more chances to turn things around for himself and his team.

And the way this series is shaping up, probably a close one.

Three straight games have been decided by three points or fewer, the first time that’s happened in the championship round since 1948, according to STATS, LLC. The Baltimore Bullets and Philadelphia Warriors played Games 2-4 within a three-point margin during those Basketball Association of America finals, a year before that league merged with the National Basketball League to become the NBA.

In a close series, expect game five to be another nail biter as these teams head down to the finish of one of the better finals in a long time.

Play on the Dallas Mavericks

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