(The Spread) - Just when it looked as though the Miami Heat might take a stranglehold on the NBA Finals, the Dallas Mavericks continued to amaze an already captivated national audience.

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Now with the series knotted at two games apiece, the clubs will shift back to Miami, but that’s not to say the Heat are too comfortable heading into Game 5. Not only did LeBron James and company fail to record a win their last time out, they looked downright miserable.

As a result, the Mavs are listed yet again as -1.5 favorites for the next game according to oddsmakers from online sports book Bodog.

Between James’ 3-11, eight-point disappointment and Dwyane Wade’s mind-numbing fumble at the end of regulation, the two superstars charged with the task of carrying the franchise did anything but.

Instead, it was Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki who rose to the occasion, solidifying his case as one of the game’s best players.

Though the Heat are set as -230 favorites to win the series, a lot of their future success will come down to how they adapt to the adversity of a gut-wrenching defeat.

Can LeBron James silence critics who’ve attacked him relentlessly since his Tuesday night lemon when the Heat tip off on Thursday?

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