chris bosh

Miami's Chris Bosh dunks in game 3 of 2011 NBA Finals

*After surviving a poke in the eye earlier in the game, Chris Bosh swished through a 16-foot, go-ahead jumper from the baseline with 39.6 seconds left, the Miami Heat held on for an 88-86 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night for a 2-1 lead in the NBA finals.

“This is a total win,” said Dwyane Wade, who led Miami with 29 points and 11 rebounds. “You want to win the game on the defensive end of the floor and we got a stop.”

If history means anything, and it almost always does, winning game three all but assures that Miami will win the series. That’s because the Game 3 winner in a tied finals has won the championship all 11 times since the 2-3-2 format began in 1985.

The Heat now has the opportunity to create some déjà vu. How? By winning the championship in Dallas’s building just like they did in 2006. All they need to do is win the next two games.

“I feel like we did nothing but get home-court advantage back,” Wade said. “But the next game is a big game. We have to bring our hard hats, understanding it’s going to be tougher to win that game than it was to win this one. I believe in this team. If anyone can do it, I believe we can.”