In a postseason which saw Dallas come back from another 15 points in the 4th quarter (with just over 5:00 minutes left in Game 4 of the WCF against the Oklahoma City Thunder), the Dallas Mavericks found themselves down by 15 to the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the NBA finals, this time with 7:14 remaining in the ballgame. Also, this time it wasn't against a bunch of young, up-and-coming future stars of the league. It was against the Big 3. The team of myth and legend, who after a rough start to the season finally began rounding into form throughout the latter half of the 2010-2011 campaign and into the playoffs. After dispatching with Dallas in Game 1 (a game I didn't get to watch, unfortunately, they looked primed to toss the Mavs aside, and prepare themselves for the glory which their union demanded of them.
All game long, Dallas kept it within reach. It was never too far away for them. Actually, while Dirk had a great game, perhaps his most memorable in some aspects, the real unsung hero of the night has to be Shawn Marion. He was the Maverick who did most of the work on offense, keeping the team in it. If it wasn't for his contributions when his teammates were not playing well on that end of the floor, the lead would have almost certainly been too insurmountable to overturn.
Then the three happened.
That three point shot by Wade looked like the dagger. Dallas had fought so hard against a team with so much talent. And it looked like Miami had finally gotten enough distance to coast to a win. Dallas didn't look like a team which could come back from that, based on how the previous forty-one minutes of basketball had played out.
But it seemed this team almost needed to be at the brink of desperation in order to shine.
This night was one of the greatest nights of my sports life. To see Dirk be the one to do it at this stage, to see him be the dominant force, the man with the will to win which could overshadow his opponents. It was indescribable.
Of course he didn't do it alone. Terry set the tone, by getting four quick points. Kidd hit a nice three, and played great defense. Chandler had some huge picks to free up Dirk for two big three's.
But make no mistake. It was Dirk's moment, And it gave all of us hope for what could transpire from here on out. We went from wondering if we would get back to Miami for a sixth game to believing we could win again.
And we did. Dallas went 3-1 after this point.
I didn't mean to write this much. But thinking about this night just sorta tipped the bucket and made it pour out.
Here's a video. Happy anniversary, everyone.