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Mavs beat the Heat to win NBA Finals championship

By Lateef Mungin, CNN
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Mavericks fans react to NBA title win
  • LeBron James: "not going to hang my head low"
  • Mavericks avenge loss to Miami Heat in 2006 Finals
  • Dallas leads by 9 points at the end of the third quarter
  • Jason Terry leads Mavs in scoring with 27 points

(CNN) -- Jason Terry can keep the tattoo.

One of the many story lines in the NBA Finals won by the Dallas Mavericks Sunday night was Terry's bold tattoo. Terry said he had the Larry O'Brien championship trophy tattooed on his right bicep before the season began because he was confident the Mavs would clinch the title.

Losing would've been painful for Terry, literally, as he said he would have the tattoo removed.

The Mavs won 105-95, with Terry leading the team with 27 points.

It was the Mavs' first NBA championship in franchise history. Dallas clinched the series by a margin of 4-2. Prior to their Game 6 victory, no player on the Mavs had won an NBA title.

"When you did something as crazy as I did, you have to back it up," Terry said showing his tattoo to the television cameras. "This team never gave up when faced with adversity. We never gave up. Tonight we got vindication."

The team worked so long and so hard. The team deserves this. The Mavs nation deserves this.
--Dirk Nowitzki

The Mavs used furious scoring barrages by Terry and weathered an uneven game by star forward Dirk Nowitzki to win. In the end, Miami could not overcome Dallas' zone defense.

"I still really can't believe it. The team worked so long and so hard. The team deserves this. The Mavs nation deserves this," Nowitski said. "I could not get in a rhythm today but the team carried me to this win."

"I gotta give it up for the fellas," Nowitski said.

Despite a poor shooting night, Nowitzki still had 21 points.

The Mavs held a slim 53-51 lead at halftime and were able to grow the lead. They led by nine at the end of the third quarter. They pulled away in the fourth quarter, helped by Miami's sloppy play and turnovers.

The loss was devastating for Miami, a team that seemed to be put together for a championship.

Before the season, the Heat added perennial all-star forward Chris Bosh and superstar forward LeBron James to a team that was headed by talented guard Dwayne Wade.

A dejected James shook a few hands before quickly walking off the floor. The rest of the Heat stayed out to shake the hands.

"It hurts, of course. But I am not going to hang my head low," James told reporters after the game.

The win not only means the first championship for star power forward Nowitzki, it also means his Mavericks avenged their crushing loss against the Heat in the 2006 NBA Finals.

That year, Nowitzki and the Mavericks watched a 2-0 series lead in the NBA Finals evaporate at the hands of Wade and the Heat.

For 38-year-old Dallas point guard Jason Kidd, Sunday's victory was a long-time coming.

"It's something that you always dream of when you come into the league," Kidd said shortly after the victory. "And it just shows the character of this team... I guess the third time's a charm."

The post-game celebration resulted in at least 14 arrests in downtown Dallas, according to police, including four for disorderly conduct and six for public intoxication.

CNN's Benjamin Gottlieb and Vivian Kuo contributed to this report