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The Mavs say this is a must-win for them tonight, for obvious reasons.

LeBron James says the same thing to the Heat.

Take a gander of what the ABC cameras caught him saying just before the Heat took the floor for warmups, where he channels his inner Herb Brooks for an all-time locker room speech:

“Let’s continue to play desperate. That’s the only way we know how to play basketball. That’s the best way we know how to play. When we play desperate, we feel like our back is against the wall. Even though we’re up 2-1, I still feel like our back is against the wall. And this is a must-win game. Every game we approach, our back is against the wall and it’s a must-win game. Don’t ever come out of a situation where you feel like, ‘Damn, if I’d have did this a little bit harder or I did that a little bit smarter, I’d have gave us a better chance to win the ballgame.’ Lay it all on the line tonight and play Miami Heat basketball.”

They might be playing desperate.

So might the Mavs, for that matter.

Neither team is playing great, yet. Dallas 17, Miami 16, 2:01 left in the first.

Couple quick stat updates: Heat have nine offensive rebounds already, after having nine in all of Game 3. And Wade had his first turnover since Game 2.

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Dirk Nowitzki did his thing, then Chris Bosh did his.

The power forwards had all the power in the opening minutes of Game 4 of the NBA finals.

Nowitzki scored the first six for Dallas. Meanwhile, the Heat missed 10 of their first 11 shots and got away with it, thanks to Bosh getting three field goals in the opening minutes.

We’re tied at 8, 5:51 left in the first.

The Mavs did more than change the lineup, they changed defensive rotations as well. Jason Kidd has spent some time guarding LeBron James. That will not be a regular occurrence.

Story Continues →