It was the same song but a different verse for the Mavericks as the Heat raced out to a 14-3 lead on the back of several Trevor Ariza triples. As a team, the Heat cashed in on eight of nine threes and generated 11 total assists while being led by Ariza’s 16 first-quarter points. Dallas faced a 39-30 deficit after one.
The second quarter was flipped on its head the moment this happened:
More on this later, but Green played the entire quarter and it wasn’t a coincidence the Mavericks outscored the Heat 33-15 in the frame to take a 63-54 lead into the half.
Dallas kept the energy in the third, with Green earning the nod to start the second half. Tim Hardaway Jr. scorched the nets as the Mavericks pushed the lead to take a 98-77 lead into the final quarter.
The Mavericks executed the fourth quarter flawlessly as Doncic (and Green) watched the second unit ice the game away. Although the Heat scored 36 in the frame, the Mavericks did just enough to never put the game in jeopardy. Hardaway blazed the path to victory with 36 points (13-of-24 from the field, 10-of-18 from three) as the Mavericks beat the short-handed Heat, 127-113.
On to some notes from the game:
The Josh Green game
It’s been a long season for Green, who received a lot of playing time early on but looked completely overwhelmed - like a rookie thrown to the wolves without a benefit of a normal offseason. Then he disappeared for a while, spending time in the G League while also being buried on the bench in the big leagues. However, tonight was a glimpse into what Green brings which is energy and hustle. The Mavericks looked lifeless until Green checked in at the start of the second quarter, but his juice was just what Dallas needed.
I wrote down a sequence early in the second quarter where Green collected an offensive rebound and then scored a tough layup in traffic before stealing the ball a few plays later. I thought this might be the highlight of Green’s game, but he was far from done. He went on to play the entire second quarter in which the Mavericks dominated, and he started the third quarter that played out similarly to the second. From the start of the second to the 2:57 mark in the third (all minutes Josh Green played), the Mavericks outscored the Heat 61-33.
Green crashed the boards, dove on the ground for loose balls and showed tremendous vision like this:
Another terrific pass by Green. pic.twitter.com/FRhcGri3AT— Bobby Karalla (@bobbykaralla) May 5, 2021
Green, who finished with four points, four rebounds, three assists, and three steals in 24 hard-earned minutes, finally had his “welcome to the NBA moment”, and it was a ton of fun to watch. You can’t teach the effort Green has.
The Splash Bros of the South
I’ll admit that doesn’t really roll off the tongue, but that’s who Doncic and Hardaway were as the Mavericks blitzed past the Heat in the second and third quarters. The duo combined for 59 points connecting on 15-of-28 from deep. Each player took turns dazzling the Miami crowd with an array of impressive shot making, but I want to take a moment to single out Hardaway.
The man could not miss, and tonight was a prime example of how Hardaway can single-handedly bust games wide open when he’s on. He tied the team record for made threes and set a personal record with 10 and could have secured the record had he not missed some open threes late.
Hardaway (36 points) looked rejuvenated after getting the last game off, and he’s now made 18 triples in his last three games played. It was a bounce-back shooting performance for Doncic (23 points) after going 2-for-13 from deep in his previous two.
Dallas dominated from deep after the first quarter
The first quarter was one to forget for Dallas as Miami jumped out to a big lead connecting on eight of their first nine three-point attempts. Conversely, the Mavericks made three of their seven triples, but volume kept them behind. From then on it was all Dallas as the well dried up for Miami. In the last three quarters, the Heat made only 10-of-32 three-point attempts while the Mavericks rained in 18-of-40 from deep. That’s a plus-24 point differential and more than enough to swing the game decisively. As frustrating as the Mavericks starts are, the team is always a Hardaway Jr. explosion away from running a team out of the gym. The Mavericks and Heat just so happened to race to opposite ends of the three-point spectrum compounding the Mavericks’ run.
Here’s the postgame podcast, Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you can’t see the embed below “More from Mavs Moneyball”, click here. And if you haven’t yet, subscribe by searching “Mavs Moneyball podcast” into your favorite podcast app.