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Game #57: Miami Heat (29-27) vs. Dallas Mavericks (34-21)

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Use this post for your Open Game Thread

The finish line is in sight for a road trip that would have most teams struggling.  Not this version of the Heat, as they have found a groove that has them playing at a very high level on both ends of the floor.  Tonight they wrap up their 4 games in 5-night road trip in Dallas, the site of the Heat's first NBA championship. 

Miami heads into Dallas on a similar streak as the one they had heading into Philly; the Heat has lost 7 straight games in the Mavs' house and 17 of the last 19 games overall.  The Heat record on the 2nd night of back-to-backs has improved to 4-8 with the Heat winning their last two matchups (at Atlanta and at New Jersey)

It will be interesting to see who steps up tonight on offense.  Defensively the effort has been great from the entire roster, top to bottom, but it's the offensive side of things that need a boost in the absence of Dwyane Wade.  Super Cool led the Heat with a career high 30 points (8 of those coming after regulation ended), but also lending a hand were Jermaine O'Neal and Mario Chalmers

Rio played one of his best games in a while, utilizing his talents to the best of his ability.  He drilled 4 shots from beyond the arc and hit on 6-of-12 overall.  He hustled his ass off on D and came up with a couple steals, as he often will.  I'm not jumping on the Chalmers bandwagon just yet; he still takes too long to get the offense going and turnovers are going to be an issue.

GAME NOTES

  • Former Heat players Caron Butler and Shaun Marion will start for the Mavs. 
  • Dallas is also playing the 2nd of a back-to-back, having won last night in Orlando.  The Mavs are 7-7 on the back end of a doubleheader. 
  • The Mavericks will be without Erik Dampier (finger) and Tim Thomas (personal).
  • Miami will be without D-Wade (calf) and Rafer Alston (hand). 

Tipoff from the other arena named after American Airlines will be at 8:30.  Lets go Heat!!