NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, January 2nd
(All times Eastern)
Dallas Mavericks (13-19) at Miami Heat (21-8), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Following a split of their four-game road trip, the
defending champion Miami Heat are back home for three straight games and will
entertain the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Heat halted a season high-tying two-game losing streak with a 112-110
overtime victory against the Orlando Magic Monday night as LeBron James and
Dwyane Wade scored all of Miami's 13 points in the extra period. James scored
10 of his 36 points in overtime and Wade ended with 21 points. Wade is
averaging 23.2 ppg in his last five games.
"We dug in," said Wade. "(Orlando) was a team that played very well. They had
a lot of guys on the court that probably half the league never heard of, but
they came to work and did an unbelievable job."
Chris Bosh added 22 points for Miami, which won for the seventh time in nine
tries and is tied with New York for the most wins in the East (21).
The Southeast Division-leading Heat have won four in a row as the host and are
14-2 at home. They have scored at least 100 points in 14 of their 16 home
games this season, averaging 106.4 points in that stretch. Chicago and
Washington are scheduled to visit south Florida over the next few days.
James, meanwhile, has scored 20-plus points in every game this season. He has
achieved the feat in 50 consecutive games dating back to last season,
including the playoffs.
Dallas is in the thick of playing five of six games away from Big D and star
Dirk Nowitzki is slowly getting back to form. Having missed the start of the
season recovering from knee surgery, Nowitzki has played the last five games
off the bench and the Mavs are 1-4 since his return.
Nowitzki scored a season-high 11 points in a 103-94 victory at Washington on
New Year's Day, while Vince Carter led the charge with 23 points. O.J. Mayo
chipped in 15 points and Darren Collison finished with 15 points and eight
assists for the Mavs, who shot 50 percent from the floor and ended a six-game
losing streak. It was only Dallas' second win in the last 11 tries.
"The locker room is miserable and the coaches are miserable when you lose, so
it was definitely one we wanted to get," Nowitzki said.
Mayo is averaging 24.4 points in Dallas' 13 wins this season. Mavs coach Rick
Carlisle is eight wins short of 500 in his career (492-344).
The Mavericks will head back home for a meeting with New Orleans on Saturday
and will hit the road again for three straight against the Jazz, Clippers and
Kings. They are just 5-13 as the guest this season. Shawn Marion is 12 games
shy of 1,000 in his career.
Dallas forward Brandan Wright is questionable for Wednesday's game because of
a strained quadriceps.
Miami defeated Dallas, 110-95, on Dec. 20 in the Lone Star State and has won
three straight in the series after losing the previous 14. The Mavs are still
20-5 in the past 25 meetings and have prevailed in 10 of their last 12 trips
to south Florida.
01/02 10:30:01 ET