- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 31, 2011

MIAMI (AP) - Dirk Nowitzki scored seven points in a span of three possessions during a surge by the Dallas Mavericks late in the first half Tuesday night, and they rallied to lead the Miami Heat 44-43 at halftime of Game 1 in the NBA finals.

Nowitzki was only 1 for 6 from the field in the first 20 minutes but made his final three shots of the half. The Mavericks scored on eight consecutive possessions during the surge, outscoring the Heat 18-10.

One of Nowitzki’s baskets put Dallas ahead 36-35 _ the ninth and final lead change of the half. Dallas’ Tyson Chandler took an alley-oop pass from Jason Kidd and converted it into a three-point play for a 41-38 lead.

The series is a rematch of the 2006 finals, which Miami won in six games.