Mavericks put laser-beam focus on Game 3

Jason Kidd

Credit: WFAA

Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd talks with reporters during the team's Sunday morning practice session.



Posted on June 5, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Updated Sunday, Jun 5 at 5:12 PM

DALLAS — The NBA Finals returns to North Texas Sunday night for the first time since 2006.

The fans were already starting to gather outside the American Airlines Center for Game 3 of the championship series between the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat.

The best-of-seven series is even at one game apiece.

It is the third major sporting event to take place in North Texas in the span of eight months, starting with the World Series last October, followed by the Super Bowl in January.

The Mavericks are working to take home their first-ever NBA title, and Game 2 in Miami was a thriller. The Mavs' 15-point comeback will be remembered as one of the greatest finishes in the team's history.

But as the team focuses on Game 3, their goal is to keep from getting in that position in the first place.

"We can't get down against a team like this and think we'll always come back and win it," said Dallas veteran point guard Jason Kidd at a shootaround on Sunday. "We've got to make sure we don't get down 15."

Kidd and his teammates wouldn't discuss a Game 4 or Game 5, saying they're focused only on winning Sunday night.

The Mavericks will play the next three games on home court, and it will be a tough run.

Heat superstar LeBron James told the media on Sunday that Miami is now in attack mode.

The Mavericks might not have back-up center Brendan Haywood for Sunday's game. He strained his right hip flexor during Game 2.

The team says his participation Sunday will be a game-time decision, although he was in practice gear at the Sunday morning shootaround.

There's one person we haven't heard much from this series or at all in the playoffs — Mavs owner Mark Cuban.

He is well known for his outbursts during and after games, and for his candor online on Twitter and through e-mail.

But Cuban has taken a different approach to this playoff run — only talking about the Mavericks on Twitter on game day, and saying only this: "Go Mavs."