Heat dominate Dallas in Christmas Day opener

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 25: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat takes a shot against the Dallas Mavericks during the NBA season opening game at American Airlines Center on December 25, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

In a game that wasn't nearly as close as the final score would indicate, the Heat went into Dallas on opening day and blew out the Mavericks 105-94. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade led the way offensively, though the real impressive part of the game was the suffocating defense played by the Heat, forcing Dallas into several turnovers and tough shots.

Miami came out ready to play, and didn't let up on the gas until the game was so far out of reach that it was silly to not remove its starters. They led by 15 after the 1st quarter, 21 at the half and then in the 3rd went on a 14-0 run to peak their lead at 35 points. The 3rd quarter also provided the highlight of the game; an all-oop pass from Mario Chalmers to LeBron James that instead of dunking, James tipped to a streaking D-Wade who then jammed it home.

The game was a great way to begin the season as the Heat appeared to be in mid-season form on both ends of the floor, looking very comfortable playing with one another. It wont be long before Miami gets to once again test their ability with tomorrow's home opener coming against the rival Boston Celtics who will be trying not to fall in a 0-2 hole after losing in New York on Christmas.

GAME NOTES

  • The Heat broke a streak of 14 straight regular season losses to Dallas.
  • LeBron James finished with 37 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocked shots. He also made 15-of-19 from the foul line.
  • D-Wade contributed 26 points of his own, adding 8 boards, 6 assists, a steal and a block.
  • Udonis Haslem played 32 minutes off the bench, leading all players with 14 rebounds.
  • Miami outrebounded Dallas 51-31. The Mavericks top rebounder was Shawn Marion, with 6.
  • The Heat took just 7 three-pointers, making 4. It was just the 3rd time in franchise history that none of the 5 Miami starters attempted a triple.
  • Miami scored just 8 points in the 4th quarter, tying a franchise low.
  • Rookie Norris Cole looked solid in his NBA debut, playing with poise and confidence. He finished with 7 points, 2 rebounds and hit his only attempt from downtown.

Next up is the home opener tomorrow night against Boston. Tipoff from the AAA is set for 8pm.

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