January 12, 2011 is the last time the Dallas Mavericks (32-23) have defeated the Miami Heat (38-14). That, of course, was game 6 of the NBA Finals when the Mavericks won the championship. Miami has rattled off six straight wins against Dallas, including Tuesday night’s 117-106 victory at the American Airlines Center.
How it went down:
There are some games when you just have to give credit to the other team. This is one of those games for the Mavericks. The Heat shot 57.1% from the floor and capitalized on 16 Mavericks’ turnovers to the tune of 24 points. Miami also outscored the Mavs in the paint 56-34.
LeBron James, who seems to hold a personal vendetta against the Mavs after the 2011 Finals, torched Dallas for 42 points. He also grabbed nine boards and had six assists. Chris Anderson also added 18 for the Heat. James and Anderson combined for 24 of the Heat’s 33 points in the fourth quarter.
This isn’t the way the Mavs had hoped to start the second half of the season. Considering the two games sandwiching the All-Star game, though, were against the top two in the Eastern Conference and the Mavs split them is a positive sign. Dallas defeated the Pacers in Indiana last Wednesday night before the break.
Inside the Numbers:
James’ 42 points is a season high for him this year.
Dirk Nowitzki has shot at least 50% from the field in nine of his last 10 games (7-14 against the Heat).
Dallas out rebounded Miami 50-28 and had 21 offensive rebounds. It’s the first time since December 20, 2003 that Dallas grabbed 20 offensive rebounds and lost in regulation.
Impact Play of the Game: With 7:47 left in the game and Dallas up 95-92, LeBron re-entered the game and led the Heat on a 14-0 run, including eight straight points by James.
Step-Up Mav of the Night:
Dirk shot 50% from the floor and everyone else managed to shoot 38%. Dirk also had nine rebounds and seven assists for the Mavs.
“I thought we played extremely hard and our heart was in the right place all night. We just had some untimely misses, some untimely turnovers, and that really hurt us. They are a team that takes advantage of those and they make you pay an exponential price.” – Rick Carlisle
“I like how we competed. We played hard and gave ourselves a chance. Just down the stretch we weren’t good enough. LeBron kept making plays, and they stepped up their defense a little bit. We couldn’t score the last four or five minutes, so I guess that separates a good team from a great team.” – Dirk Nowitzki
“When we turned it over, [James] was gone. He’s one of the fastest guys in the league in the open court. After his fourth open-court dunk, the basket started to get bigger for him. Then he started pulling up for threes and started hitting some. It just opened the game up.” – Shawn Marion
Dallas will face the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night in Philadelphia as they set out on a three-game road trip. The game can be seen on FSSW locally at 6 p.m. CT.