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Stevenson just hit back-to-back 3-pointers to extend Dallas’ lead to 40-28. He also had one in the first quarter, one of the reserves that helped the Mavericks quickly turn this around after Miami’s quick start.

Not bad for what’s known as a defensive specialist.

Stevenson went to the bench before Game 4 when Dallas coach Rick Carlisle decided to put J.J. Barea in the starting lineup. The move has worked out brilliantly so far, with Stevenson’s play off the bench allowing the Mavs to spell Shawn Marion, the primary defender on LeBron James.

Terry is a former Sixth Man winner who is one of the NBA’s best reserves.

So far tonight, Stevenson is right there with him.

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The Mavericks sure turned that around in a hurry.

Miami seemed ready to deliver the early knockout punch, racing to a nine-point lead and sending Dirk Nowitzki to the bench with two fouls.

Instead, the Mavericks closed the first quarter with a 17-5 finish after the big German sat down to take a 32-27 lead.

The biggest concern for the Heat has so far been true. Dallas’ shooters gained confidence with their 112-point performance in Game 5, when they shot 56.5 percent and made 13 of 19 3-pointers. Now Jason Terry came off the bench to hit his first four shots, fellow reserves Brian Cardinal and DeShawn Stevenson hit 3s, and the Mavs are in a groove.

And three quarters from a championship.

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Dirk Nowitzki had to go to the bench, but no problem for the Dallas Mavericks the way Jason Terry came off it.

Terry came in and hit a jumper and a 3-pointer on his first two attempts, pulling the Mavericks within 22-20 with 4:10 remaining in the first quarter.

Nowitzki went to the bench with 5:11 left after picking up his second personal foul. Brian Cardinal replaced him, and Terry entered at the same time.

Story Continues →