Dallas came into this 2011 Finals rematch off an impressive 110-93 win against the Detroit Pistons. Unfortunately, they could not carry over that momentum. They would fall to Miami 113-101.
Yogi Ferrell led the way for the Mavs with 23. Harrison Barnes added 20 of his own, as did Dirk on six three point makes.
The Heat were led by Wayne Ellington with 28. Josh Richardson also had an excellent night with 24 points and numerous run halting buckets that proved critical to preserving Miami’s win.
Being that 6 years have passed since the historic showdown, the rosters look vastly different. One of those fresh faces is Maverick’s rookie Dennis Smith Jr.
Smith made his much anticipated return to the lineup Wednesday against Detroit after missing the previous six to a hip strain. He would finish with an impressive 15 point, 5 rebound, 5 assist line in only 20 minutes. His performance was characterized as “Bad, great, shaky, then good” by coach Carlisle.
As for Miami, they came in off an impressive win against the East leading Celtics. They have been devastated by injuries, missing key pieces like Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic, and Justice Winslow for large chunks of the year. Guard Dion Waiters also left the game in the first quarter with a ankle sprain.
Despite that, they still raced out to an early lead. Fueled by the three point line, Miami would open the game on a 15-2 run. After a quick timeout and some early substitutions, Dallas would answer with their very own 9-0 run. But the Heat made five three balls in the period and would take a nine point lead into the second quarter.
The Heat’s hot shooting would carry into the second. Through the first 18 minutes of action, they were shooting 66% from the floor, and 70% from three. Harrison Barnes would keep the Mavericks connected though, scoring seven points in the final 5 minutes of the half on perfect 4 for 4 shooting. A Dirk three would officially bring the Mavericks all the way back from down 13, with just a little over two minutes to go. Somehow, someway Dallas was able to nod the score up at 53 going into halftime.
Barnes and Ferrell were big in the first half, scoring 13 and 12 respectively, on 10 for 15 shooting combined.
The second half began exactly as the first did, with a big Miami run. The tandem of Josh Richardson and Wayne Ellington sparked a 12-0 run right out of the third quarter chute.
Again the Mavericks would answer back with their own run. A 7-0 spurt would force a timeout by Spoelstra. Miami then steadied themselves, and behind the brilliance of Josh Richardson, the Heat would take a 82-73 lead into the final frame.
They say basketball is a game of runs, and it is. This game epitomized the cliche. Just as Miami had hit Dallas with large runs to open both halves, the Mavericks threw a punch of their own to open the fourth. An 8-0 Mavericks run punctuated by a Dennis Smith three brought Dallas to within one.
Predictably, the Heat would counter. Their very own 9-0 run pushed their lead to 10 with about 6 minutes left, and the Mavericks simply had no bullets left to shoot.
They would hang around and hang around, but when the opposing team is just refusing to miss, there is not much to be done. The Heat shot an absurd 64% from the field, and 64% from three. 8 of them came off the fingertips of the former Maverick Ellington. Even on a night when Dallas made more than half of the shots they attempted, they still lost by double digits. It was a shooting performance the Heat likely won’t replicate for the remainder of the season.
Dallas will thankfully have the chance to get back in the win column tomorrow night. They take on the league worst Hawks. Tip off is at 6:30 CST. You can catch the game live on FSSW, or via the Fox Sports Mobile app.
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