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Game Recap: Heat Cool Off as Mavericks Surge, 97-91

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Both the Heat and Mavericks have played 4 games in 5 nights; one would expect tired legs and a slow paced game for both teams.  Although both teams have had identical schedules as of late, they are on completely divergent paths.  Miami is without Dwayne Wade and battling to hold onto the seventh spot in the East.  Dallas, on the other hand, is on a two game winning streak and reenergized by the newest additions to the roster.

Game as a Whole:

Jason Kidd looked like he was drinking from the fountain of youth and the Mavericks held their third straight opponent under 100 points for the night.  Call it what you will but the "new guys" that moved from Washington to Dallas definitely have something to do with all this renewed energy.

It would seem that Dallas has finally assembled its "big three" in Kidd, Butler, and Nowitzki.  That is not to discount what Haywood has brought to the team, he has brought a ton, but these three players are what currently make the Mavericks go.  Kidd continues to be an assist machine while also getting his hands into every passing lane.  Butler pours in 20 points and is ready to make big plays at a moments notice.  Nowitzki, as usual, is Nowitzki. 

Combine those guys with a bunch of solid role players and you have got the makings of a champion.

1st Quarter:
  • 11:28, Nowitzki drills his first shot.  I think the elbow pad was affecting his shot although he would never admit it. 
  • O’Neal versus Haywood is going to be interesting due to Jermaine’s ability to shoot the short jumpshot.
  • 10:19, Mavericks are on fire to come out, first three shots all go down. 
  • 9:32, Miami has to take a full timeout to settle the team down.  Hopefully Beasley doesn’t have a huge game tonight. 
  • 7:28, Miami is shooting 2 of 9 from the field.  The Dallas help defense is looking pretty good tonight.
  • 6:50, Nowitzki drops in another basket and he already has eight for the game.
  • 5:58, Marion consistently draws the other teams best player.  He sees Beasley to start the game, let’s see how many points he gives up.
  • 4:49, Two fouls sends Marion to the bench early.  Terry comes in and Butler gets Beasley.
  • 4:07, Haywood picks up his first defensive three seconds call for the Mavericks. 
  • 2:56, Barea comes in and commits a turnover that leads to a score.  Carlisle takes a timeout to stop a Miami 14-4 run. 
  • 2:01, Butler is 6 for 6 from the floor and is currently one of the only other Mavericks scoring.
  • The Miami zone broke the Dallas lay up line.  If the Mavericks continue to swing the ball around they will get open looks.
2nd Quarter:
  • 11:45, As soon as Miami comes out of the zone Nowitzki scores.  The Heat may be playing a lot of zone tonight.
  • 11:06, Barea takes a super quick shot without moving the ball.  Not what you want to see your point guard doing when you are trying to get back into the game.
  • 10:06, One pass and then an air-ball three for Terry.  Bring the ball movement back guys.
  • 9:11, Najera gets his third deflection of the quarter. 
  • 8:23, Kidd gets a steal and Terry draws a foul on the ensuing play. 
  • 7:56, Another steal for Kidd and he leaves the lay up for Najera.  That is unselfish play at its best.
  • 7:11, Terry misses another three and he has yet to make a shot (0-5).
  • 6:02, Marion has the last 5 points for Dallas to bring the Mavericks to within two.  Nowitzki has taken a pretty long rest.
  • 5:26, Haywood gets an offensive rebound and score off of a Terry miss.
  • 3:29, Nowitzki puts the ball on the floor for the bucket plus the foul. 
  • 2:36, O’Neal blocks Haywood, Haywood blocks O’Neal.  The two cancel each other out.
  • 1:52, Butler hasn’t touched the ball in a long time.  Maybe Terry should give up some of his touches here. 
3rd Quarter:
  • 11:13, Kidd threads the needle to Haywood for the score.  Kidd leaves it all out on the court.
  • 10:16, Beasley can’t guard the Nowitzki bank shot. 
  • The Heat are continuing to keep the Mavericks at arms length, they are up by six points. 
  • The only difference tonight is that the Mavericks have missed all their three pointers while the Heat are 4 for 10 from beyond the arch. 
  • 6:08, Nowitzki draws a foul and goes to the line to cut into the five-point lead.  The Mavericks have picked up the ball movement.
  • 5:44, Marion drops the hammer on Jermaine O’Neal (who doesn’t even bother to jump).  Start printing the Marion poster now.
  • 5:06, Butler runs the break and drops the ball off to Marion for the score.  Butler showed how good it is to make the extra pass.
  • 3:52, Kidd with a rare hit off the dribble.  Have to take the ball into the middle of the zone to beat it.
  • 3:00, Who else should give Dallas the lead but Nowitzki?  Jason Kidd of course gets the offensive rebound to make the play happen.
  • 1:52, Kidd may have possibly hit the first three of the game. 
  • 1:10, Najera forces Chalmers to pick up a foul, Mavericks blow the possession on a missed Kidd jumper.
4th Quarter:
  • 11:30, Kidd gets an extra point thanks to a review of a two pointer that was changed into a three.
  • 10:40, Even though Kidd only has 9 points tonight it feels like he has scored 30. 
  • 9:49, Haywood, please don’t take another one of those turnaround jumpers again. 
  • 9:18, Barea comes in at a very critical moment in the game, lets hope he can give Kidd 4 minutes.
  • Jason Terry is pulling an Antawn Jamison tonight. 
  • The Mavericks cannot put the Heat away, it seems.
  • 7:45, Nowitzki misses the most open shot he had all night. 
  • Who wants this game more?  Carlisle goes back to Kidd.
  • 5:58, Kidd’s first shot off the bench is a made three. Butler has the amazing find.
  • 5:29, Arroyo fouls Kidd on a three point shot.  Kidd is doing everything he can to give the Mavericks the win tonight.
  • 4:20, Another three pointer for Kidd.  He must have spent more time in the gym practicing that three.
  • 2:57, The Mavericks have scored seven straight after a Haywood offensive board and put back.  That also gives Haywood a double-double.
  • :51.7, Three second violation on Beasley.  That may have ended his team’s hopes of a comeback. 

Some Choice Statistics:

  • The Mavericks have beaten the Heat the last 11 times they have met in the regular season
  • In Nowitzki’s first season (’98-’99) in the league he shot only 20% from three-point range. 
  • Other notable players born in Germany: Carlos Boozer, Anthony Randolph, and Kiki Vandeweghe. 

Closing Thoughts:

The Mavericks overcome a wretched shooting night from Terry and power through the tired legs for the win.