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Anyway, both teams have settled in.


Early edge: Dallas.

In terms of aggression.

In terms of poise.

In, well, just about any term you want to use.

Dallas 13, Miami 6, 7:12 left in the 1st quarter. LeBron James is 1 for 3 from the floor, the make being a runout dunk. Jason Kidd looks 28 instead of 38, controlling the game so far with five points and two steals. Dirk Nowitzki is settling in nicely, having just made a jumper after misfiring on his first two tries.

Crowd is alive, too.

Exactly the start Dallas wanted, exactly what Miami wanted to avoid.


With the teams now on the court for warmups, here’s a few notes and quotes to help get you going before Game 5 of the NBA finals:

_ LeBron James does not have a double-digit scoring quarter in these finals.

_ His points (24, 20, 17, 8) and field goals (9, 8, 6, 3) have decreased in every game of this series.

_ He hasn’t taken more than four free throws in any game during this series. First time that’s happened over a four-game stretch all season. He’s taken 14 free throws against the Mavs. Consider this: He took more than 14 in seven different games this year.

_ No team in the finals has topped 96 points since Boston beat the Lakers 103-94 in Game 2 last season.

Story Continues →