Jason Kidd’s plea for his team to start playing significantly better on defense was finally answered Friday night against the Miami Heat.Luka

In running and hide from the Heat, the Dallas Mavericks won in dominating fashion at American Airlines Center, 115-90. The 90 points are the fewest the Mavs have allowed in a game since last season when they defeated Portland, 128-78, on April 8.

Apparently, repeated talks with his team about stepping up their game on the defensive end of the floor finally paid off for Kidd.

“I think there was clarity of what we’ve asked them to do in this game plan and they responded,” Kidd, the Mavs’ coach, said. “It wasn’t me calling them out or saying we had a walk-through or shootaround during the game against Atlanta (this past Wednesday).

“You could see they were flying around. Now we’ve got to hold them to that standard.”

It was a defensive clinic by the Mavs, who had given up 130 or more points in three consecutive games prior to playing the Heat. Miami Reggiewound up converting just 4-of-20 shots from beyond the three-point stripe as the Mavs played chest-to-chest defense.

“We look at film, we see the things that they put two on, our spots that we need to be at on the defensive end,” forward Reggie Bullock said. “We just have to give multiple effort and stick to the game plan.

“Go out there and just try to perform and do it.”

Here are the three takeaways from the Mavs’ 25-point win over the Heat.

A BUTLER/ADEBAYO SHUTDOWN: The Mavs put the defensive clamps on the Heat’s two All-Stars – Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Butler came in averaging 21.7 points per game, but was held to just 12 points on 3-of-7 shots. Adebayo entered Friday’s gameLuka scoring at a 21.5 points per game clip, but finished with only 18 points on 7-of-14 shots.

DONCIC UNSTOPPABLE: Luka Doncic said he didn’t know his career scoring average against the Heat was just 20.8 points per game. Well, that average is a little higher now after Doncic scored a game-high 34 points — he also had 12 boards and seven assists – against a Heat defense that was no match for the fifth-year point guard. Doncic now has scored 30 or more points in an NBA-high 32 games this season.

BULLOCK WAS BULLISH — AGAIN: Reggie Bullock continues to show that his days of being in a shooting slump are behind him. Bullock scored 15 points Friday, and was 5-of-6 from three-pint range. That continues a trend that has seen Bullock convert 19-of-29 baskets from three-point land over the past four games. He also is averaging 16.8 points on 64.9% shooting from the field and 65.5% shooting from downtown over the last four games.

Twitter: @DwainPrice

Share and comment

More Mavs News