Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/15

Game 1: Friday, November 15th
Mavericks104Final
Heat110
Game 2: Tuesday, February 18th
Heat117Final
Mavericks106

Heat 117

(38-14, 18-10 away)

Mavericks 106

(32-23, 18-9 home)

Coverage: FSSW

8:30 PM ET, February 18, 2014

American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 30 30 24 33117
DAL 28 26 31 21106

Top Performers

Miami: L. James 42 Pts, 9 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

Dallas: D. Nowitzki 22 Pts, 9 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

Heat-Mavericks Preview

STATS LLC

Anything short of a third straight NBA title would be a disappointment for the Miami Heat, which is why they're not getting caught up in the drama of the race for the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed.

Health is their main concern as they look to make another championship run, and they'll hope to be at full strength Tuesday night while seeking to win a sixth consecutive meeting with the host Dallas Mavericks.

LeBron James is having another MVP-caliber season with Chris Bosh playing a solid supporting role, though Dwyane Wade has missed 15 games due to various ailments as Miami (37-14) sits 2 1/2 games behind first-place Indiana in the East.

The Heat won five of six prior to the All-Star break even with Wade missing the last two contests with a migraine headache and nerve irritation in his left foot. He did play just under 12 minutes in Sunday's All-Star game and scored 10 points, and Miami hopes he'll be able to play the majority of contests down the stretch despite also battling knee problems.

James scored 22 points and Bosh had five in the East's 163-155 win.

"What matters more is that we're healthy. We're going to compete for first place of course, but we're not going to make it this huge thing," Bosh said. "We're within striking distance, 2 1/2 back. We like our chances."

James has been dominant as usual and capped off a brilliant performance with a 3-pointer with less than a second remaining to beat Golden State 111-110 on Wednesday. He finished with 36 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists.

"I was going for the win the whole time," James said. "I just wanted to make sure either I made it and there was no time left, or I missed it with no time left. That was my only mindset. It was a big shot."

Miami won three times on a four-game road trip before the break and will follow it with a pair of tough road contests. It faces Oklahoma City on Thursday after looking to beat Dallas for the sixth straight time since the Mavericks beat the Heat in Game 6 of the 2011 NBA finals to win their first championship.

James hit 14 of 18 from the field and scored 39 points in Miami's 110-104 win Nov. 15 to help overcome 28 points from Dirk Nowitzki, who battled a sprained ankle to play 8 1/2 minutes in the All-Star game.

Nowitzki had 18 points as the visiting Mavericks (32-22) beat Indiana 81-73 on Wednesday for their sixth victory in seven tries, moving 10 games about .500 for the first time since their title-winning season. They had their five-game winning streak snapped the previous night in a loss to Charlotte, where Nowitzki suffered the injury that has yet to keep him from missing time.

"This is a big win for us. We really needed it," coach Rick Carlisle told the team's official website. "We had built up good momentum and seemingly (Tuesday) we just let everything blow to smithereens. And this shows the guys understand the importance of playing together, playing tough and playing for each other."

Monta Ellis scored a game-high 23 points for Dallas, which faces Philadelphia, Detroit and New York on a road trip beginning Friday following two more days off after facing the Heat. Carlisle hopes his team can remain sharp.

"We've been playing well, but we need the rest," Carlisle said. "We've got Miami coming out of the break, so it's not like there's any picnic going on here. The games are all going to be hard."

James is averaging 30.2 points and shooting 61.6 percent during Miami's winning streak over Dallas.

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Research Notes

LeBron James has now scored at least 35 points in three straight games for the first time in a Heat uniform. The last time he scored at least 35 in three straight games was January 2010 with the Cavs (4 straight games).
LeBron James has feasted on the Mavericks since losing to them in the 2011 NBA Finals.
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LeBron James scored 12 4th-quarter points on 4-of-6 shooting against the Mavs, and has scored at least 12 4th-quarter points in 3 straight games. On a per 40-minute basis, LeBron is the highest 4th-quarter scorer, and one of the most efficient this season.
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LeBron James was 16 for 23 from the field (69.6 percent) in the Heat's win on Tuesday night. Said James after the game: "I'm in a zone right now." This was almost as good of a zone as he's ever been in. James has only had one game in his career in which he took at least 23 shots from the field and shot better than he did on Tuesday. He was 19 for 26 (73.1 percent) against the Celtics in Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals. The 16 for 23 tied the best shooting percentage for James in a regular season game, matching the 16 for 23 he shot against the Mavericks on March 29, 2006.
LeBron James joins Kobe Bryant (120) as the only active players with at least 50 career 40-point games. James reaches the milestone in his 816th career game. Bryant recorded his 50th 40-point game in his 659th career game.

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