Jun 8, 2011, 12:58 AM EDT
Dirk Nowitzki just seemed off.
Well, it didn’t look like that for the first few minutes of the game, when he had the Mavericks first six points including a ridiculous rainbow turnaround. Those shots had you thinking it could be one of those nights for the perfect German scoring machine.
Then he fell apart, hitting just one of his next 11 shots. Missing open looks, and at times looking lethargic.
Then we found out why — he was playing through a triple-digit temperature. ABC sideline reporter Doris Burke reported it first, then after the game Tyson Chandler confirmed in his post game interview that Dirk was dragging himself through shootaround and the game.
But from the four minute mark on, Nowitzki scored four of the final six points for Dallas. Two on free throws (although he finally missed one in this series after hitting 39 straight — he must be sick) and two on one of the dagger plays of the game, a drive to his right around Udonis Haslem and a scoop layup with 14 seconds left.
He finished with 21 points and 11 boards. It’s not the Jordan flu game by any stretch, but Dallas can’t win if they don’t get something good from Nowitzki. This is not a team with multiple stars. Nowitzki must step up every game.
And despite a triple-digit fever he did. And because he did this series is tied 2-2.
- PBT Extra: Previewing Heat/Spurs NBA Finals Game 7 3
- Utah Jazz bring back Jerry Sloan as team consultant 4
- Celtics, Clippers restart Doc Rivers-Kevin Garnett trades talks at Chris Paul’s wish 9
- Chris Bosh to fans who left Game 6 early: ‘Don’t come back for Game 7′ 37
- Wade says left knee sore, swollen, but will play through it 16
- NBA Finals Game 6: Heat comeback in fourth, win in overtime to force Game 7 (125)
- If Spurs win, it is LeBron’s legacy that will take biggest hit (85)
- Lakers unlikely to sign and trade Dwight Howard to the Clippers, Rockets, or anyone else (81)
- Chris Bosh blocks Spurs’ Game 6 comeback attempt (video) (79)
- Heat’s Big Three dominate Game 4 to even the Finals at two games apiece (74)
- LIVE: Bruins-Blackhawks, Game 4
- Posnanski: How Heat won a game of mistakes
- PHT: Can Blackhawks solve Rask in Game 4?
- PFT: Report: Hernandez accused of prior shooting
- CSN: Report: Hernandez 'not ruled out' as suspect
- GTC: Tiger pulls out of AT&T citing elbow issue
- HBT: Biogenesis suspensions still likely coming
- Play Video: Bosh: 'We'll see who hits first'
- Play Video: Clippers, Celtics discussions 'can't be wrong'
- Play Video: Elliot looks ahead to Game 6
- Play Video: The Hype: How much would you pay to punch someone?
- Play Video: If Heat lose, 'all hell will break loose'
- Play Video: Green breaks NBA finals 3-point record