02/22/2007 Mavericks vs. Miami
DALLAS -- With Dwyane Wade out of the lineup, the Dallas Mavericks took all the suspense out of their NBA finals rematch with the Miami Heat.
Dirk Nowitzki had 31 points and 11 rebounds and the Mavericks took advantage of Wade's absence to beat the Heat 112-100 on Thursday night for their 10th straight victory.
Miami was playing in Dallas for the first time since winning the NBA title last June. Wade, who averaged nearly 35 points in that series and was the finals MVP, is considering season-ending surgery after dislocating his left shoulder Wednesday night in a loss in Houston.
The Mavericks turned the game into an early rout as they jumped to a 23-point halftime lead and led by as much as 32 in the fourth quarter.
"We've got to forget about it," Miami coach Pat Riley said of playing without Wade. "You get shocked a lot of times. We're big boys. We're professionals. They've been waiting for this game and we didn't respond well to the adversity."
The Mavericks have won 31 of 33 and became just the fourth team in NBA history to have three winning streaks of at least 10 games.
Jason Terry scored 16 points in the second quarter and all 21 of his points in the first half.
Dallas shot 60 percent through three quarters as it led 93-63. The Heat rallied in the fourth as it got within 10 in the game's final two minutes.
"We were really feeling good about ourselves for three quarters," Terry said. "You can't let down your guard. "You have to come out and finish them off."
Shaquille O'Neal, playing his 10th game since returning from a knee injury, had 17 points and eight rebounds for the Heat. James Posey also had 17 points, and Jason Williams added 13.
The teams met Jan. 21 in Miami, with the Mavericks winning 99-93. O'Neal didn't play in that game.
Terry, who missed a 3-pointer in Game 6 that would have sent the game into overtime, was 7-of-8 from the floor in the second quarter.
O'Neal's dunk brought Miami to 32-25 early in the second. But Terry scored six points in a 12-1 spurt that put Dallas ahead 44-26 with 6:43 remaining.
Terry finished the second quarter with a 3-pointer that put Dallas on top 65-42 at halftime.
The Mavericks shot 76 percent in the second quarter and outscored the Heat 39-21.
"We got off to a pretty good start and had a heck of a second and third quarter," Dallas coach Avery Johnson said.
The Heat struggled to generate much offense without Wade -- third in the NBA in scoring with a 28.8 average.
Miami's starting backcourt of Williams and Gary Payton went a combined 4-of-15 from the floor. Payton missed two wide open layups in the first 7 minutes.
And without Wade instigating the offense, Miami didn't have an assist until there was 4:46 left in the first half when Williams found Posey for a 3-pointer.
"There's no excuse for the way we performed," Miami forward Udonis Haslem said. "We understand they might still be upset about the fact that we won last year. They're coming out not just trying to beat us, but embarrass us."
Things got feisty in the third quarter as Heat forward Antoine Walker was ejected late in the third quarter for a flagrant foul on Nowitzki.
Walker, who looked as if he was trying to knock the ball away, took a swipe in the direction of Nowitzki's head on a drive to the basket with 57.1 seconds left in the third.
O'Neal also was called for a flagrant foul on Harris earlier in the third, but he was not ejected.
Game notes Dallas F Josh Howard did not play in the fourth quarter because of a sprained right ankle. He went to the court in pain after he landed on Miami's Jason Kapono's foot midway through the third quarter. Howard did return and played the final 1:46 of the third. ... The Milwaukee Bucks (1970-1971), Philadelphia 76ers (1980-1981) and the Los Angeles Lakers (1999-2000) also had three winning streaks of at least 10 games in one season. ... Miami finished with 14 assists. ... O'Neal scored 15 points in the first half.