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Dallas Mavericks 93, Miami Heat 72

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Hassan Whiteside collected 14 rebounds in the first eight minutes, and Miami led for three quarters before the bottom fell out of the Heat.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

First Quarter Recap

Mario Chalmers opened the scoring just over a minute into the first with a driving layup after misses by both teams. The next time down the floor, Hassan Whiteside forced a miss with a block off the glass. Chalmers made the Mavericks pay with a three-pointer from the left corner the next time down, followed by another Dallas miss and a Whiteside jumper from the foul stripe. Dallas finally got on the board with a dunk by Tyson Chandler on the Mavs sixth shot of the game.

Danny Granger missed his second three-point shot of the contest just after three minutes elapsed. Dallas missed again, then Whiteside collected a Chris Bosh miss and got fouled going back up with it to the rim. He missed the first and made the second to extend the lead out to 8-2. Dirk Nowitzki then drained a 14-foot jumper from the right baseline. Napier sunk a three-pointer, outscoring his prior two games combined. Monta Ellis sunk a three-pointer from the left wing to cut the Heat lead back to four. Six minutes into the first would see Miami clinging to an 11-7 lead.

Al-Farouq Aminu made one-of-two in Dallas’ first trip to the foul line after the commercial break, and Norris Cole answered with a three-point attempt that was about three inches short. Chalmers then missed from the exact same spot the next time down, then was fouled stealing the ball from Rajon Rondo (remember him?). Chalmers bricked another three, then Whiteside fouled Aminu, who again made just one of his two attempts to close the deficit to two. Chris Andersen made a short putback a second later for a 13-9 lead. Maybe I missed something, but I had to double take the live boxscore when I noticed that Whiteside had 14 rebounds with four minutes left in the first quarter.

James Ennis put back a Cole miss on a driving catch and tip-in for a 15-11 Miami lead, but Aminu went back to the foul line and made both shots. Shawn Williams missed a three-point attempt from the right baseline, and the Mavs turned it back over to the Heat again on an offensive foul. After another Williams miss, Monta Ellis made one-of-two from the line to inch closer to Miami’s 15 points. Failed possessions by each team were followed by a 24-second violation on Miami’s part. The frame closed with Miami clinging to a 15-13 lead.

First Quarter Observations

  • Whiteside set a Miami record with 14 rebounds in one quarter. The prior Heat record was 12, by Shaquille O'Neal. Nate Thurmond of the San Francisco Warriors owns the all-time record for rebounds in one quarter, with 18 back on February 28th, 1965.
  • Miami only made 6-of-26 shots in the first quarter, but that was markedly better than Dallas' three-for-17 performance. Their combined 20.9% shot success rate, um, sucked.
  • Chalmers led everyone in the period with five points on two-of-four shooting.

Second Quarter Recap

Bosh opened the quarter by nailing a nine-foot fadeaway from the right-side to double Miami’s lead to four, followed by a very questionable foul committed by Chalmers. Still, Dallas’ cold-streak continued, and Bosh made a technical foul induced free throw to make it 18-13. Each team missed a three-pointer, then Cole sunk a runner for a seven-point Heat lead. Aminu dunked the ball for the Mavs’ 14th and 15th points of the night, and the Heat answered three possessions later with a thunderous Ennis dunk on a breakaway.

Bosh put the lead out at nine with a fadeaway jumper near the foulline, running the score to 24-15, followed by a Mavericks miss and a Tyler Johnson miss. Charlie Villanueva made a three-pointer for the Mavs, who look in danger of scoring less than 30 points through the first half. Ellis missed two foul shots, then Chalmers earned a foul in the act of shooting. He made one-of-two, dragging the lead out to seven.

Ellis got nothing-but-net on a running teardrop in the lane, and Whiteside made a jumper. Villanueva and Williams traded three-pointers on consecutive possessions and things looked like they were about to get interesting. Ennis followed with a three of his own after the commercial break, and Richard Jefferson made a runner from point blank to keep the Mavs within single digits. Whiteside missed a layup, collected his own rebound, then made the putback, demonstrating a perfect two point, one rebound play.

Rondo made one-of-two from the line, collected his own offensive rebound then made the putback in an unconventional three-point play. Chalmers air-mailed a pass to Ennis, who pounded another dunk down in heavy traffic. Whiteside also threw down a dunk a moment later, getting fouled in the act for a chance at an old-fashioned three-point play. He would make it after a commercial break, and Miami’s lead was 10.

Nowitzki made his second shot of the game on eight attempts with a long two-point attempt, followed by a Tyler Johnson assisted Whiteside alley-oop. Nowitzki made one-of-two foul shots a second later. Bosh made the lead a dozen by hitting a three-pointer from the parking lot. Miami held the ball for the final shot, which Johnson missed at the buzzer from just inside the three-point line.

Second Quarter Observations

  • Whiteside finished the half with a double double, at 12 points and 16 assists.
  • Ennis' nine points were second on the team, but he was playing like a man who's not sure he has a roster spot for next season. I'd like to see more of this, please.
  • Dallas closed the half at just under 30%, making 11-of-37. The second quarter wasn’t bad by itself, as the Mavs made eight-of-20 in the frame.
  • Miami was 12-of-25 through the quarter, and nine of them were assisted baskets.
  • After consistently being the worst rebounding team in the NBA through most of the last three and a half seasons, Miami holds a 35-to-20 edge on the glass. The difference between the teams was coincidentally almost exactly equal to Whiteside’s contribution. Eerie, but this comparison holds up when you consider his 12 points were exactly the difference in the bottom line, a Heat 45-33 lead.

Third Quarter Recap

Whiteside opened the second half by collecting a defensive rebound and an offensive rebound, followed by a putback for a 14 point lead. Bosh drilled an 18-footer to run the lead out to 16. Then, the Mavs would outscore Miami 55-13 over the next 19:54. Jefferson made a three-pointer, then each team lived through failed posessions. Nowitzki made a long-distance bomb of his own to cut the deficit down to 10 points. Ellis made a runner to bring the Mavs within eight.

After a commercial break, Chalmers rained down a three from the left corner. Each team missed shots, and Bosh sunk a rainbow over Jefferson for a 13-point lead. Jefferson streaked down the other way for a layup in transition, and Whiteside made another layup for Miami.

Nowitzki left a lob in the air for Tyson Chandler, who dunked it home. Noone else scored for several minutes until Nowitzki went fishing for (and drew) a foul on Whiteside, calmly sinking both free throws to draw Dallas within seven points. Ennis answered with a bomb from the right side, followed by an Ellis jumper from the top of the key.

Chalmers drew a foul on a drive to the basket, then made both shots as Whiteside sat down with 21 rebounds, and that was the end of the game for the Heat, who scored two points over the next 12 minutes. Villanueva answered Chalmers foul shots with a three-pointer, his third on four attempts on the night. Miami turned the ball over, but Ellis couldn't convert the jumper. The Birdman was called for an offensive foul on the return trip, giving the ball back to the Mavs.

Devin Harris hit Chandler next to the net for a tip in, which closed the margin down to four. Cole continued his terrible night by badly missing a five-foot runner from the left side. Dallas made Miami pay with another Chandler layup. Miami missed their next shot, and Dallas held for the final shot. Cole fouled Ellis with 0.4 seconds left. Monta made both shots, and the third quarter closed with the score knotted at 60.

  • I like Norris Cole's spark and his speed, but he's not an NBA caliber point guard. I think the experiment should be over. Shabazz Napier is even worse, but I think Miami should let him play a little more at this level before calling it a day. Miami needs someone at the point guard position who can do what Whiteside did for the center spot.
  • Dallas closed the frame with a 17-4 run which was reminiscent of Milwaukee's comeback in the fourth quarter the other night.

Dallas earned their first lead of the game to open the fourth quarter when Aminu tipped in a Villanueva brick from distance. Miami answered with a missed shot, then Dallas earned two offensive rebounds on the next possession, which culminated in a Harris three pointer. Villanueva dunked a loose ball home for a seven-point Dallas lead. The teams then raced up and down the court for the next two minutes, missing eveything until Villanueva made another three-pointer to run the lead out to 10.

Bosh missed a spinning layup from point blank, then Dallas scored their 23rd straight point on a jumper. Johnson broke the streak with an eight-foot jumper, but Harris drained another three to put the Mavs up by 15. Bosh failed to close the gap after a foul, missing two free throws.

Villanueva sank his fifth three-pointer of the game with six minutes left in regulation to put the Mavs up by 18 points. Chandler tipped in his own miss a moment later for an 82-62 lead. The rest of the game was garbage time.

  • What happened? Was it really coincidental that the bottom fell out at the precise moment that Whiteside was removed?
  • It's a shame that we won't remember Whiteside and Ennis from the first three quarters. The only thing we will remember was that shameful 37-2 Dallas run.

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