1. THE FINAL (ICONIC) SHOWDOWN: The final matchup between the Mavs’ Dirk Nowitzki and Miami’s Dwayne Wade took place Thursday, and it was an emotional showdown. Nowitzki and Wade will forever be linked because the Heat defeated the Mavs in the 2006 NBA Finals and the Mavs beat the Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals. On Thursday, Nowitzki was 5-of-13 from the field and scored 13 points in 28 minutes, while Wade was 4-of-14 from the field and scored 11 points in 28 minutes. When Miami ended the game on a 9-2 run, six of those points were scored by Wade.
  2. SLOVENIAN PRIDE: This was a memorable game on so many levels. One of those was the fact that some 2,000 people from Slovenia flew to Miami to watch two of their country’s favorite sons – the Mavs’ Luka Doncic and the Heat’s Goran Dragic – battle it out for the first time on an NBA stage. Teammates and roommates when Slovenia captured the European Basketball Championship in 2017, both Doncic and Dragic were in rare form on Thursday in a game wildly cheered by the Slovenian contingent. Doncic finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and Dragic posted his second career triple-double as he collected 23 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.
  3. JACKSON STRIKES AGAIN: Justin Jackson continues to show that he could become a permanent fixture in the Mavs’ rotation going forward. The second-year veteran poured in 14 points against the Heat, and also contributed four rebounds, two assists and a season-high tying two steals. Jackson was 6-of-10 from the field and 2-of-3 from beyond the 3-point arc. The Mavs acquired Jackson from Sacramento on Feb. 6, and since his playing time has been increased lately, so has his production. Over the past five games, Jackson has averaged 13 points in 27.6 minutes, and is 28 of 54 from the field for 51.9 percent.
  4. KLEBER SURGING: The more Maxi Kleber plays, the more it becomes apparent that he has the tools to be a thorn in an opposing team’s side for many years to come. Against the Heat, Kleber came off the bench and played 19 minutes and finished with five points and a team-high 10 rebounds. That means over the last nine games Kleber is averaging 10.3 points and 8.2 rebounds and has produced three double-doubles, five games with 10 or more points and four games with 10 or more rebounds during that span. Also in those nine games, Kleber is 33-of-54 from the field for 51.6 percent, and 14-of-33 from downtown for 42.4 percent.
  5. HEAT RULED THE SECOND HALF: During the first half on Thursday, everything was tilting in the Mavs’ direction. Dallas led after the first quarter, 29-26, and even led at one point in the second quarter by as much as 11 points. But the second half belonged to Miami as the Heat outscored the Mavs after intermission, 56-40. That includes by a 30-17 margin in the fourth quarter when the Mavs were just 5-of-21 from the field, committed five turnovers and were outrebounded, 17-10. In fact, from the time the Mavs led, 60-49, with 11:36 remaining in the third quarter, they were outscored 56-39 the rest of the game.

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