Dirk Nowitzki says Dallas teammate Jason Terry must score more against Miami in NBA Finals
Dallas Mavericks standout Dirk Nowitzki says the team needs more scoring help from guard Jason Terry, a graduate of Franklin High School in Seattle.
Miami @ Dallas, Game 4, NBA Finals, 6 p.m., Ch. 4
DALLAS — The supporting cast that helped carry high-scoring Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks into the NBA Finals has shriveled under the pressure of the stage, the defense of the Miami Heat or a little of both.
The Mavericks trail 2-1 going into Game 4 of the best-of-seven series Tuesday partly because they aren't scoring enough. Their average of 88.3 points is down 11.4 from the previous three playoff rounds.
Nowitzki is contributing 28.3 points, virtually matching his postseason average coming in. The drop-off is elsewhere and reserve guard Jason Terry's slump has perhaps hurt the most.
Terry, a graduate of Franklin High School in Seattle, and Nowitzki were among the league's top fourth-quarter scoring tandems in the regular season. The Heat threw that off by having 6-foot-8 LeBron James cover the 6-2 Terry.
Terry was shut out in the fourth quarter of Games 1 and 3, the ones Dallas lost.
"Jet (Terry's nickname) hasn't really been a crunchtime, clutch player for us the way we need him to," Nowitzki said Monday. "We have to find a way to get Jet some freedom and get him off some movement, and he's got to make some shots for us."
Confidence is seldom a problem for Terry. This is a man who got the Finals trophy tattooed to his right biceps in October and vows to have it removed if Dallas doesn't win the title. On Monday, he said if he again gets the same shots he missed down the stretch of Game 3, "I bet I make them."
Perhaps tempting fate, Terry also questioned whether James "can defend me like that for seven games" and claimed first-round opponent Portland played better defense than Miami does.
"I'm going to tell you this: We will be there in Game 4," the 33-year-old Terry said. "I'm ready for the challenge."
Dallas center Tyson Chandler said Miami's style has made the Mavericks "timid."
"Because they close out quick, guys second-guess their shots: Is this a good shot? Should I drive?" Chandler said. "We just have to make them pay."
• Mark Jackson, a former point guard who has been working as an analyst for ESPN and ABC, has been hired as coach of the Golden State Warriors.
Jackson, 46, replaces Keith Smart, 46, who guided the team to a 36-46 record this season.
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