Powered by an aggressive Hassan Whiteside early, the Miami Heat raced out to a 14-point lead in the first quarter at 31-17 with the offense firing on all cylinders. But Dallas would switch to zone defense in the second quarter, which immediately deflated Miami’s offense after shooting 65 percent in the first quarter. Dallas would eventually go on a 14-2 run to cut the deficit to two points.
The Mavericks would switch back and forth between man-to-man and zone defense and eventually take their first lead of the night at 48-46 after a 3-point play by Seth Curry, who along with Harrison Barnes carried their team on offense.
Dallas would go up by as much as 11 late in the third quarter and they controlled the tempo of the game by successfully slowing down Miami. The constant ball movement seen in the first quarter, and indeed throughout their epic win streak, just wasn’t there enough consistently to counter what Curry was doing on the other end as he would turn in a monster performance in the second half.
Regardless, the road team clawed back in the fourth quarter and would eventually re-take the lead after back-to-back 3-pointers by Wayne Ellington and Dion Waiters midway through the quarter. Soon after that, a Dragic 3-pointer would increase their lead to five.
Somehow, Miami would fail to score a single point in the final four and a half minutes of the game while Dallas would score 12 straight points to end the game. The team’s lack of execution in crunch time was clearly evident, along with an unfortunate delay of game whistle out of a timeout that strangely felt as if it threw off the Heat for the rest of the night.
No surprise that Dallas was the last opponent to hold Miami to less than 100 points and a franchise-best streak of 16 games has now been snapped. The Heat’s lack of aggressiveness on offense was evident with just 13 free throws attempted (and six made free throws) as compared to the Mavs going 21-23 from the charity stripe.
Miami will try to get back to their winning ways in their push to make the playoffs when they host the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, March 1.