Final: Heat 106, Mavs 82
Box Score | Highlights
Behind the Box Score
After scoring just 0.455 points per possession in the first quarter en route to 10 points, the Mavericks responded with one of their most efficient offensive quarters of the season. Dallas scored 1.458 PPP in the second quarter, which ranks among their very best clips of the entire campaign. The only problem is Miami was equally sizzling, scoring 36 points in the frame to end the half with 58 points and a 13-point lead. Still, it was good to see the Mavericks bounce back so well from a sluggish shooting start.
All things considered, the Mavericks did a very good job of hanging on to the ball in this game. The Mavs turned it over only 8 times in this game, continuing the team’s trend of playing offense under control. Sometimes the shots simply just aren’t falling, and that was the case for most of this game. But it’s a positive sign that, even though things didn’t come easily for Dallas tonight, the club was still able to generate good looks and not give Miami a bunch of easy chances going the other way. The Mavericks didn’t make mistakes playing out of wild desperation. They still stayed within the flow of the offense. That’s how you get back into games, too.
Deron Williams played his first game since suffering a hamstring strain against Toronto on Dec. 22. But given the tear J.J. Barea has been on recently, Williams was a reserve, backing up the Puerto Rican. He scored a bucket on his first attempt, a little fadeaway jumper from 15 feet. Dallas also ran a nifty play to get him a wide-open corner 3, one I can’t remember seeing before this season. It’s good to see Williams back in the swing of things. Barea has been fantastic for the last several games, but you can never have enough guard depth in this league, and we all know what Williams is capable of when he’s healthy and in a groove.
JaVale McGee always shows flashes of what he could become as he gets more acclimated with the team and system. In one second-quarter stretch, McGee threw down an alley-oop dunk, then at the other end he blocked Chris Bosh at the rim, then at the other end he leaped for another lob and drew a foul doing so. He’d later convert another alley-oop in the same quarter. He’s obviously a tremendous athlete, and it’d paid dividends on both ends for the Mavs.
The Mavs have a game tomorrow night against New Orleans. It’s always important to play with energy on the second night of a back-to-back, no matter how tough it might be to summon. However, the good news is the only Maverick to play more than 30 minutes against Miami was Wesley Matthews, so the roster should be fresh, relatively speaking, when the Pelicans come to town. It will be a game the Mavericks will certainly be looking to win, in hopes of extending the club’s winning streak within the friendly confines of American Airlines Center.
The Mavs (19-14) play the New Orleans Pelicans (10-22) Saturday at American Airlines Center. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. Central.