FEVER PITCH: SICK DIRK HELPS TIE FINALS

Dirk Nowitzki fought through a 101-degree fever to help the Dallas Mavericks level the best-of-seven NBA Finals at 2-2, with a thrilling 86-83 win at home to the Miami Heat.

The German scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, including a decisive drive with 14.4 seconds left to help Dallas to victory.

After the game the power forward said: “This is the Finals. You’re going to leave it out there. Like I said earlier in the series — it’s June. … You have to go out there and compete and try your best for your team, so that’s what I did.”

The Mavs also managed to keep former NBA MVP LeBron James quiet. The small forward had just eight points in the game.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said: “We’ll have to look at the film. Obviously we would like to get him involved. He’s a very important piece to what we do. So we’ll work to help make it easier for him next game.”

With Dirk suffering, Tyson Chandler (13 points and 16 rebounds), Jason Terry (17 points), Shawn Marion (16 points) and DeShawn Stevenson (11 points) all improved on their NBA Finals averages, while Miami were led by US internationals Dwyane Wade (32 points) and Chris Bosh (24 points).

The two teams meet again in Dallas for Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Thursday before heading to Miami for Game 6 on Sunday.

Image: NBAE / Getty

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