Skip to content

Heat bring the defending champs to Dallas, have no trouble dismantling the Mavericks

Dec 21, 2012, 12:49 AM EDT

Miami Heat forward James shoots on Dallas Mavericks Mayo during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Dallas

The Miami Heat are the defending champions for a reason. The overall talent on the roster, which includes the league’s best player in LeBron James, is enough to beat most teams in the league with ease, but only when everyone is engaged, and interested in defending to the level that they have proven to be capable of during last June’s run at the title.

On Thursday night in Dallas, Miami brought that championship-caliber effort, and made quick work of a shorthanded Mavericks team while cruising to a 110-95 victory, the Heat’s third straight.

James set the tone for his team from the very start. He had 13 first-quarter points on 6-of-7 shooting while playing all 12 minutes, to go along with four rebounds, three assists, and a blocked shot in the game’s opening period. Miami led by 11 after one, and never looked back, seeing their lead balloon to as many as 36 points in the third before Dallas closed the gap a bit in extended garbage time.

The Mavericks were without Elton Brand and Brandan Wright in this one due to injury, but it wouldn’t have made a difference had they been able to go. Miami was dialed in, perhaps motivated by the 2011 championship banner that hangs at the American Airlines Center that came at the expense of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in the NBA Finals just two seasons ago.

O.J. Mayo has been taking the load of carrying the Mavericks’ offense on his shoulders thus far with Dirk Nowitzki still sidelined, and has put up All-Star level numbers to this point in the season while doing so. But he couldn’t get anything going in this one, and finished with just eight points on 3-of-14 shooting, while missing all five of his attempts from three-point distance.

Dallas was forced to go small with its lineups given its available players, and had very limited success. The team finished the night shooting just 38.5 percent from the field, while making just three of its 22 three-point attempts.

The defense was more of a problem than the offense for Dallas, however, with the Heat getting what they wanted when and how they wanted it on virtually every meaningful possession.

We’ll never know for sure if seeing the Mavericks and that banner was the reason for Miami’s breakout performance, or if it was simply the circumstances surrounding the lineups Dallas was forced to go with given its list of available players. But the Heat brought the intensity with which it was able to win last year’s title, and when they do that, there are only a very limited number of teams that even have a chance.

Latest Posts
  1. Tuesday NBA grades: Chris Paul looks playoff ready

    Apr 16, 2014, 2:42 AM EDT

    Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

    Chris Paul and J.J. Redick look good as Clippers ready for playoffs.

  2. Chris Paul puts Evan Fournier in spin cycle (VIDEO)

    Apr 16, 2014, 12:40 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets Getty Images

    Poor Evan Fournier is on the wrong end of a highlight that’s going to get shown a lot for a few days. At least.

  3. Iman Shumpert drops Paul Pierce with the crossover (VIDEO)

    Apr 15, 2014, 11:46 PM EDT

    Miami Heat v New York Knicks Getty Images

    Video of one player executing a crossover that drops another player to the floor — you know you’re watching.

  4. D’Antoni didn’t know draft lottery implications for Lakers after win over Jazz

    Apr 15, 2014, 8:01 PM EDT

    Mike D'Antoni AP

    Mike D’Antoni had no idea how beating the Jazz on Monday would negatively impact his team’s Draft Lottery chances. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

  5. Carmelo Anthony has torn labrum, Knicks shut him down for season

    Apr 15, 2014, 6:43 PM EDT

    Carmelo Anthony AP

    Anthony is out for the rest of the season but will not be surgery and will be good to go next season.

  6. Celtics’ legend Cedric Maxwell stood in location of Boston Marathon bombing just minutes before

    Apr 15, 2014, 5:31 PM EDT

    Just 7-8 minutes before, Cedric Maxwell had stood next to one of the people killed in the Boston Marathon bombing, but he decided to go inside and get warm.

  7. With top spot secure, Pacers to rest George, West, Stephenson, Watson Wednesday

    Apr 15, 2014, 4:41 PM EDT

    Indiana Pacers v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

    With nothing on line Pacers going to rest key guys… except Hibbert.

  8. Could Nets rest guys hoping to face Raptors instead of Bulls in first round? (They didn’t)

    Apr 15, 2014, 3:46 PM EDT

    Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Shaun Livingston, Deron Williams Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Shaun Livingston, Deron Williams

    It’s not something you could ever prove (and the Nets may not even do it), but they could rest guys in hopes of falling into a first-round matchup with Toronto.

  9. Damian Lillard not making friends in latest Foot Locker ad (VIDEO)

    Apr 15, 2014, 2:59 PM EDT

    Portland Trail Blazers v Golden State Warriors Getty Images

    Damian Lillard doesn’t want to end up like all those players without rings. The ones sitting in his living room.

  10. 2014 PBT Awards: Executive of the Year

    Apr 15, 2014, 2:17 PM EDT

    Ryan McDonough Ryan McDonough

    Two general managers make all three ballots, one tops each

  11. Luol Deng wins J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award

    Apr 15, 2014, 1:40 PM EDT

    Paul George, Luol Deng Paul George, Luol Deng

    Award honors ‘outstanding service and dedication to the community’

  12. Fan runs into Chandler Parson’s car on way to game, asks for autograph

    Apr 15, 2014, 1:07 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets Getty Images

    It was just a fender bender, the good news is nobody got hurt. However, Chandler Parsons was delayed getting to the Toyota Center for the Rockets game Monday when he got into an accident. And then the other driver found out who he was and… I will let Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tell…

  13. Jordan Farmar crosses up Trey Burke, drops him — in the backcourt (VIDEO)

    Apr 15, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    Utah Jazz v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

    And Burke is one of the best rookies in this class….

  14. Playoff Chase: We know all 16 teams going to dance, who dances with whom still up in air

    Apr 15, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

    Jeff Teague, George Hill, David West Jeff Teague, George Hill, David West

    We know for sure the Pacers play the Hawks in the first round, and we know the Rockets and Blazers will meet. After that all the matchups are still up in the air.

  15. Amar’e Stoudemire has discussed playing in Israel

    Apr 15, 2014, 10:33 AM EDT

    Amar'e Stoudemire, Taj Gibson Amar'e Stoudemire, Taj Gibson

    Knicks forward come become free agent this offseason

Featured video

Woodson, D'Antoni's coaching futures
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Williams (4256)
  2. D. Wade (4047)
  3. K. Love (3883)
  4. L. James (3392)
  5. G. Dragic (3298)
  1. C. Anthony (3224)
  2. S. Curry (3223)
  3. D. Howard (3181)
  4. R. Rondo (2980)
  5. D. Lee (2934)