The Fast Break: Mavs at Heat

Final: Heat 113, Mavs 101

Box Score | Highlights

Behind the Box Score

With his first made 3-pointer, Dirk Nowitzki passed Chauncey Billups (1,830) to move into 12th place on the all-time made 3s list. By the end of the game he actually passed J.R. Smith for 11th place, too, but Smith is still active so those guys have gone back and forth for most of the season. Billups has retired, of course, so Dirk’s spot is safe in that regard.

Dennis Smith Jr. handed out seven assists, his highest mark in a game since Nov. 11.

Yogi Ferrell finished with a season-high 23 points. He bested that mark once last season — the nine-3 game in Portland at the height of Yogimania. He’s now scored in double-figures seven straight games.

Notebook

  • Perhaps inspired by his recent rise up the all-time made 3s list, Nowitzki was letting them fly tonight like we haven’t seen in more than a decade. He took 15 3s in this one, tying for the highest mark in a single game in his career. The other instance came on Jan. 15, 2002. He played 48 minutes that night. That wasn’t the case in this game, obviously, because he’s 39 years old and the general thought of anyone playing 48 minutes in this era is absurd. But that shows you how long Dirk has been doing his thing, and we’re all better off for being able to watch it.

    Maybe you weren’t around to watch him go bombs away 15 years ago, but at least you were tonight. Nowitzki finished with a season-high 20 points.

  • There was some incredible shot-making in this game by both teams. It wasn’t one of those nights when no one could get hot. Quite the opposite, in fact. Dallas was playing some brilliant basketball for most of this game but the Heat simply couldn’t miss from anywhere. Every time the Mavs put a run together, the Heat answered. Tyler Johnson, Wayne Ellington, and Josh Richardson in particular were magnificent, knocking down all the shots you actually want your opponent to take: off-the-dribble 3s, pull-up mid-range jumpers, and so on. Dallas effectively built a shell around the paint but Miami was able to shoot right through it, which is tough to overcome.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (9-24) will play the Atlanta Hawks (7-24) on Saturday at Philips Arena at 6:30 p.m. Central.

  • Game 33: Mavs at Heat

    Smith Jr. Deep Three

    Dennis Smith Jr. bails out the Mavericks with a deep 3-pointer just before the shot clock expires.

    The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Heat

    Final: Mavs 96, Heat 89

    Box Score | Highlights

    Behind the Box Score

    Dirk Nowitzki had his fifth double-digit rebounding game since Jan. 17 and tonight grabbed a season-high 12. He’s really been working hard on the defensive glass since moving to center full-time, and it’s reflected in his stat lines. The trade for Nerlens Noel should help Nowitzki conserve some energy on the boards, giving the Mavs another big body to grab them. But in the meantime, he’s done his part.

    Nowitzki scored eight points tonight and is now just 59 points away from 30,000 for his career. He’ll become just the sixth player in NBA history to achieve that feat.

    Notebook

  • What a win for the Mavericks. The Heat came into tonight’s game winners of 16 of their last 18 games, by far the hottest team in all of basketball, including wins against the Rockets, Warriors, and these same Mavs during that time. Both teams trailed by double-digits at various points throughout the game, yet at the end of it all, as has been the case so many times between these two clubs over the years, it came down to the closing moments, and this time Seth Curry and Harrison Barnes were able to close it out for Dallas, who improves to 2-0 in the Nerlens Noel era. (The 22-year-old was impressive again tonight.) The Mavs launched a 12-0 run in the final minutes, using gritty defense and some shot-making to turn a five-point deficit into a seven-point advantage. The young Mavs are growing more comfortable in moments like these, which is why so many of those close losses earlier in the year are slowly turning into wins.

  • Seth Curry is really good.

    After turning in a career-best 31-point performance last week against Minnesota, Curry scored 29 more tonight. He has stayed red-hot for more than two months now, and he keeps showing new things: hesitations, deep range, off-the-dribble shooting, driving, passing, and more. He’s been better than probably even the Mavericks expected him to be, after bouncing around the league for the last few seasons. There’s no doubt he belongs, though. What’s most shocking about the way Curry’s played is he hasn’t hit any type of wall this season. He had just 48 games of NBA experience under his belt before signing with Dallas, and he’s already more than doubled that total in 2016-17. Typically there’s some drop-off around this time of year from guys who don’t have at least a season’s worth of experience, but it hasn’t come with Curry. In fact, he’s arguably maintained his upward curve and been even better lately than he was a month ago, which is kind of hard to believe.

  • Quinn Cook made his NBA debut tonight and, despite not knowing much of the playbook and having only one shootaround’s worth of practicing with his teammates, he seemed to be comfortable in the offense. He shot just 1 of 5 from the field, but he didn’t force anything and played within the system, and honestly that’s what matters more than the results in a player’s first game in the league. He finished with two points and two assists in 17 minutes.

  • When Dirk Nowitzki was at center — and even when he played power forward next to Dwight Powell — the Mavs played some zone defense. Per Mavs analytics, they ran zone on five possessions and gave up just three points, which is a very good rate, though obviously on a small sample size. I wonder if Dallas will continue to with the 2-3 zone, which they’ve used to great effect for years. It’s harder to run that defense now, though, because so many teams want to shoot a ton of 3s and that’s kind of the Achilles heel of even the best zones, especially when coupled with really sharp ball movement. Still, it’s a nice option to turn to in the right matchup, so keep an eye on that moving forward this season.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (24-35) will play the Atlanta Hawks (33-26) on Wednesday at Philips Arena at 6:30 p.m. Central.

  • Game 59: Mavs vs. Heat

    Highlights: Mavs vs. Heat

    Check out all the top plays from Monday night's 96-89 win over the Heat.

    Game 42: Mavs at Heat

    Highlights: Mavs vs. Heat

    Check out all the top plays from Thursday's game against the Miami Heat.

    Las Vegas Summer League 2016 Game 1: Mavs vs. Heat

    Highlights: Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat

    Jonathan Gibson was on fire with 30 points as the Mavs knocked off the Heat, 83-64, for their first win of the 2016 Las Vegas Summer League.

    The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Heat

    Final: Heat 93, Mavs 90

    Box Score | Highlights

    Behind the Box Score

    Despite shooting only 37.5 percent in the second quarter, Dallas still scored 1.087 points per possession. To put that into context, the league average for PPP hovers around 1.02, meaning the Mavs actually had an above-average showing despite shooting a low clip. Dallas did so by shooting seven free throws, grabbing five offensive rebounds, and turning it over just twice in the frame. It’s proof that even if the shots aren’t falling, an offense can still generate points efficiently by doing everything else right — creating extra chances, getting to the line, and taking care of the ball. Making shots is obviously pretty important, but there’s a lot more to basketball than just that.

    Dirk Nowitzki reached the 25-point plateau for the seventh time this season. Dallas is now 6-1 in those games.

    Notebook

  • Something happened at halftime. After a 2-of-7 start from the field in the first half for Nowitzki, he hit five of his seven attempts in the third quarter alone. We’ve seen it about a million times by now, but there’s still something pretty incredible about watching Nowitzki ignite, especially following a stretch of cold shooting. It’s almost like at halftime he changed the difficulty setting back to Rookie mode, where it seems like he’s stayed his entire career. When his jumper is falling, he still makes the game look so easy, and that was the case in the third quarter. He ended up with 28 points to lead the team. The Mavs rode their pony hard tonight and, as always, he didn’t let them down.

  • With both Deron Williams and Devin Harris out due to injury, some serious playing time was available, and Justin Anderson was on the receiving end. The rookie intercepted a pass in the second quarter and took it the length of the floor for a dunk. During one sequence in the fourth quarter, he chased down Justise Winslow in the halfcourt and blocked his shot at the rim, and on the other end he nailed a corner three-pointer to bring the Mavs to within one point. He finished with five points, seven rebounds and two vicious block in 22 minutes, the second-most of his career. Rick Carlisle suggested Harris could miss more games following this one, meaning those same minutes could again be available to Anderson moving forward. The rookie certainly helped his own case tonight, making a few hustle plays and appearing comfortable on both ends of the floor.

  • Chandler Parsons was electric in the first half, scoring 12 points, grabbing six boards, and dishing out three assists. He scored nine of Dallas’ first 11 points of the game all in the first four minutes, attacking the basket in the halfcourt and pulling up for a three-pointer in transition.

  • Raymond Felton was instrumental in getting the Mavericks back into the game after trailing at one point in the fourth quarter 82-75. Felton scored eight of his nine points in the final frame, mostly coming off rim attacks. He’s been big late in games for the Mavericks for most of this season, and he continued it in this one.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (28-24) play the San Antonio Spurs (40-8) Friday at American Airlines Center. Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. Central.