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Heat insist there will be no hangover from Game Two loss

Mavericks' Kidd celebrates with teammate Nowitzki after a basket against the Heat during Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball series in Miami
Mavericks' Kidd celebrates with teammate Nowitzki after a basket against the Heat during Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball series in Miami

By Steve Ginsburg

DALLAS (Reuters) - The Miami Heat insist their disheartening loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday will be forgotten by Sunday's game three of the NBA Finals.

Dallas overcame a 15-point deficit in the final seven minutes to stun the Heat 95-93 and even the best-of-seven series at one game apiece.

"It's not going to affect us," LeBron James told reporters.

"We want to win the game. We feel like we have a 15 point lead in the fourth quarter, that our defense will prevail. That's how much confidence we have in our defense.

"I don't feel like our confidence will be down going into game three. We'll be back to square one and figure out how to win the game."

Miami won the series opener 92-84 on Tuesday and with a 15-point, fourth quarter lead on Thursday the party atmosphere at the arena rivaled that of nearby South Beach.

Thoughts of a series sweep quickly evaporated and when the Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki scored a driving lay-up with 3.6 seconds left, Dallas had completed one of the most dramatic fourth-quarter shifts ever in the NBA Finals.

James conceded it is a "different mindset" with the series tied heading to Dallas for the next three games rather than hitting the road with a 2-0 lead.

"It's a ballgame now," said the two-time NBA MVP. "With the series tied 1-1, we're looking forward to the challenge. It's going to be a difficult challenge for us but we're looking forward to it.

"We're a confident bunch. We play great on the road. It's going to be a hostile environment. Their fans and team are going to bring everything they have.

"We have to come out with it all, play as close to 48 minutes as possible on both ends."

The comeback marked the fourth time during this year's playoffs the Mavericks had recovered from a double-digit loss to win. All of those rallies occurred on the road.

"We gave them, and they gave themselves, life," said Heat guard Dwyane Wade, who scored 36 points in the game but none in the waning moments. "We had opportunities to at least put a little doubt in their mind.

"They're a confident team. No matter what the outcome of this game, they were going to be confident. It's a different story when you're up 2-0.

"You know what? I have been a part of it. I understand once you don't close a team down, they get confidence and life. This is a big challenge for us."

The Mavericks were delighted with the win but were not taking anything for granted.

"It's good to be going home," said center Tyson Chandler. "I'm glad we have three games in our place. We just have to take care of business."

(Editing by Julian Linden)

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