With some genuine momentum entering tonight, the Miami Heat unfortunately turned in a dud of a performance in a 115-90 blowout loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night on ESPN. Superstar guard Luka Doncic easily torched the Heat’s paper thin defense all night long with 34 points and the final outcome never seemed in doubt.
From the get-go, the Mavs dominated the Heat from the outside, with Doncic not only knocking down his fair share from deep but with Miami doubling him it only freed up shooters like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Reggie Bullock to comfortably hit theirs. Dallas would outscore Miami 33-6 in the first half on 3-pointers alone.
Dallas finished 18-38 from deep while Miami shot 4-20 by comparison. The Heat even uncharacteristically missed seven free throws.
Bam Adebayo struggled to make an impact on offense in the first half and even though he tried his hand at limiting Doncic it didn’t make any difference as Luka kept knocking down step-back jumpers or finding seams in the Heat’s defense to open up his teammates. Caleb Martin scored for the first time in the game early in the third quarter. Jimmy Butler was off with his game too. Kyle Lowry also made little impact, to say nothing of his low scoring output once again with just five points on a paltry three shot attempts for the night.
The only starter to play to his usual standards in the first half was Tyler Herro, celebrating his 23rd birthday, with 13 points but he only scored three more points in the second half. Adebayo came around eventually to finish second best on the team with 18 points but it was Victor Oladipo who was the sole Heat player to turn in an encouraging performance with a team-leading 20 points off the bench on 9-12 shooting.
The Mavericks, losers of their last three games, opened up their biggest lead of the game at the time midway through the third quarter with the score 75-57 and three minutes later at 83-61. They would go on to pad their advantage from beyond the arc in the third quarter and it was simply too much of an onslaught for the Heat to overcome offensively, who were simultaneously unable to put together any meaningful stretch of defense that could unlock a sustained run and make a dent in the deficit.
Miami returns home to host the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday at 3:30pm.