James says Heat ready to move on from momentous meltdown

By Steve Ginsburg

DALLAS (Reuters) - LeBron James contends the Miami Heat's momentous meltdown in the waning moments of the Game Two loss to the Dallas Mavericks was the result of a few minor defensive lapses and that the team is ready to move on.

The Heat forward said a series of bad breaks on offense contributed to the Heat being outscored 22-5 in the final six minutes of the 95-93 Dallas victory Thursday in Miami.

James said defensively "once those minor breakdowns happened, it allowed them to get into a rhythm. Even though we played great defense in some of the later possessions, they were in a comfort zone at that point."

With the series tied at 1-1 and Game Three set for Sunday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, how much the Heat let the collapse affect their play remains to be seen.

"Besides two or three possessions out of our last 14 possessions, it was pretty good," James said Saturday of the Heat's cataclysmic cave-in.

"I missed a lay up at the rim. Mario Chalmers missed a wide open lay up. We ran some offense where Chris Bosh got in the post. He mishandled it out of bounds.

"UD (Udonis Haslem) got an offensive rebound with a minute left and mishandled it, saved it (from going out of bounds) and they got a lay up to tie the game."

James added: "We've moved on from Game Two, seen the mistakes we've made.

"We never get too high or too low in the series. We haven't gotten too high or low in the regular season as well. We move on to the next challenge and go from there."

CREDIBLE NUMBERS

James has averaged 22 points a game during the series, credible numbers but rather mild by the standards of the two-time NBA MVP. He refused to give Dallas forward Shawn Marion the credit, saying the 33-year-old, four-time All-Star has had plenty of help.

"I don't feel like there's one guy in this league that can stop me one on one," he said. "There's always a defense that's looking at me when I have the ball.

"He's the guy that's guarding me, but there's no one guy that can guard me."

Now that the series has shifted to Dallas for the next three games, the winner of Game Three cannot be understated. Since the NBA Finals went to a 2-3-2 format in 1985, when a series is tied at 1-1, the winner of Game Three is 11-0.

"There's nothing that we have to change, it's just a matter of urgency," said Bosh. "We just have to have that desperation. We lost it for five minutes, it cost us the game.

"Now we have the privilege of being on edge. For the rest of the series there are no more mental breakdowns. Sometimes you have to be smacked in the face to realize what's going on.

"We got a good smacking and we're going to have to bounce back. That's what strong teams do."

(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)