Miami Heat’s win streak over after loss to Dallas

The Heat’s winning streak ended the same way it started — with a loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

The Mavericks defeated the Heat 98-96 on Monday night at AmericanAirlines Arena to snap the Heat’s 12-game winning streak. That streak began after a loss to the Mavericks on Nov. 27. Twenty-three days later, the Mavericks bested the Heat again. The Heat (21-9) has lost 14 consecutive regular-season games to the Mavericks over the past seven seasons.Miami Heat

”That’s two good teams playing and going back forth the entire game — very competitive until the fourth,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “The bottom line is they made bigger plays down the stretch more consistently than we did and hit some big shots.”

Heat forward Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 22 points, shooting 8 of 17 from the field. He had seven assists to go along with four rebounds. LeBron James, who was held scoreless in the first half, had 19 points on 6-of-17 shooting from the field. Chris Bosh had 19 points but missed a crucial three-pointer late in the game with the Mavericks leading by three points.

Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki led all scorers with 26 points. He shot just 8 of 21 from the field but made 10 of 10 free-throw attempts. He also had nine rebounds as the Mavericks outrebounded the Heat 48-44. The Mavericks (22-5) have won 15 of 16 games.

It was the second dramatic ending for the Heat in consecutive games. The Heat defeated the Washington Wizards 95-94 on Saturday night. The Heat now has two days off after playing a grueling seven games in 11 nights. The Heat plays at Phoenix on Thursday and at the Lakers on Christmas Day.

Unlike Saturday in Washington, the Heat’s comeback attempt fell short at AmericanAirlines Arena on Monday. Mavericks star reserve Jason Terry made two three-pointers 63 seconds apart to give Dallas an 89-85 lead with 1:25 to play. The second three-pointer was motivational killer for the Heat.

“They do a great job of moving the ball, have great shooters and Terry broke free,” Spoelstra said.

Just before Terry’s basket from the corner, the Heat’s Joel Anthony forced Nowitzki to shoot an airball. But Mavs forward Shawn Marion caught the miss and whipped out a quick pass to Terry, who was wide open. Terry finished with 19 points off the bench on 6-of-15 shooting from the field. He was 3 of 6 from three-point range. The Mavs were 8 of 21 from three-point range as a team.

“They got all the necessary open shots or offensive rebounds that led to a wide-open three to really pull away in the fourth quarter in a close game,” Spoelstra said. “It doesn’t happen to us often that someone scorers 33 on us and did it in our building.”

The Heat attempted 31 three-pointers, making 11, against the Mavericks’ zone defense. Miami was clearly out of its comfort zone most of the game and was outscored by Dallas 10-5 on fast-break points.

“That was their game plan, to zone,” Spoelstra said. “They were really committed to protecting the paint and often that’s what zone defenses do.”

A circus shot by Bosh cut the Mavericks’ lead to 86-83 with 2:10 left, and two free throws by Mario Chalmers 17 seconds later cut the Mavs’ lead to one point, setting the stage for a dramatic finish.

James had three fouls in the first half, which led to his scoreless effort during the first 24 minutes. The last time that happened? Halloween 2007 against the Mavericks.

“LeBron got in early foul trouble and it threw him out of rhythm,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said.

Similar to the beginning of the game, the Mavericks linked together a 12-2 spurt to start the third quarter. In the first period, the Mavericks led 14-2 before the Heat countered with a 17-0 run. This time, the Mavericks built a 55-48 with 8:14 left in the third before the Heat punched back.

The Heat scored 13 points in a row, including two three-pointers from James and one from Wade, to take a 61-55 lead with 4:20 left in the third quarter. James’ 23-footer at the end of third quarter gave the Heat a three-point advantage. From the there, the Mavericks dominated the final 12 minutes, outscoring the Heat 33-28.

Posted by: JOSEPH GOODMAN

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