Heat siz­zle turns to fiz­zle

Mav­er­icks fin­ish game on 12-0 run

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - SPORTS - By Ira Win­der­man Staff writer

DAL­LAS— If the vol­ume of re­cent wins has been stunning, the va­ri­ety of the re­cent losses has been sober­ing.

The Mi­ami Heat have lost only three times over their last 19 games, each time to a team 10 or more games be­low .500, this time by a 96-89 count Mon­day night to the Dal­las Mav­er­icks at Amer­i­can Air­lines Cen­ter.

For all the confidence gained by the vic­to­ries over the Golden State War­riors, Hous­ton Rockets and At­lanta Hawks, th­ese are the ones that sting, with the Heat now six games be­low.500.

Against a Mav­er­icks team that en­tered at 23-35 and had owner Mark Cuban talk­ing on na­tional ra­dio a night ear­lier about tank­ing, Dal­las rolled out its un­der­sized lineup and rolled with the scor­ing of guard Seth Curry and for­ward Harrison Barnes.

Go­ran Dragic led the Heat with 24 points, with cen­ter Has­san White­side adding 19 points and 19 re­bounds. Curry, brother of

Stephen, led Dal­las with 29 points, with Barnes scor­ing 24.

Af­ter the Heat fell be­hind by 11 in the third quar­ter, Wayne Elling­ton’s sec­ond 3-pointer of the fourth quar­ter drew the Heat within 84-83 with 6:26 to play. A Dion Waiters 3-pointer then put the Heat up 86-84. Dragic then fol­lowed with a 3-pointer for an 89-84 Heat lead with 4:39 to play.

Curry re­sponded with a jumper to draw the Mav­er­icks within 89-86. The Heat then were called for a de­lay-of-game tech­ni­cal foul for break­ing the hud­dle late, with Curry’s free throw draw­ing Dal­las within 89-87. The Mav­er­icks were awarded the free throw be­cause it was the Heat’s sec­ond such vi­o­la­tion of the game.

Then, with 1:52 to play, Curry con­verted a 3-pointer for a 90-89Dal­las lead, with a Dragic turnover fol­low­ing on the other end, pos­ses­sion awarded to the Mav­er­icks on video re­view.

Heat guard Tyler John­son then fouled Barnes with 1:16 to play, with the for­mer War­riors for­ward con­vert­ing both free throws for a 92-89 Dal­las lead.

An­other video re­view left the ball in Heat pos­ses­sion, with Waiters barely graz­ing the rim on a 3-point at­tempt that went out of bounds with 55.9 sec­onds to play.

But af­ter a de­fen­sive stop, the Heat again were off on a 3-point at­tempt, this time with James John­son off.

The Heat then fouled Wes­ley Matthews with 24.3 sec­onds left, with the Dal­las guard con­vert­ing both free throws for a 94-89 lead.

With backup cen­ter Wil­lie Reed out with an­kle bur­si­tis, Heat coach Erik Spoel­stra went with backup for­ward Okaro White as his backup cen­ter, play­ing him early in the sec­ond quar­ter against Ner­lens Noels.

That left Udo­nis Haslem again a spec­ta­tor, even with Reed back in South Florida.

Spoel­stra also con­tin­ued to work Josh Richard­son back into his mix in his third game back, again play­ing him as his fifth guard.

A Matthews 3-pointer with 3:52 left in the third pe­riod pushed the Mav­er­icks to a 73-63 lead, with a pair of Curry jumpers later mak­ing it 78-67.

The Mav­er­icks then went into the fourth quar­ter up 78-69, with Curry up to 23 points by that stage.

With Barnes scor­ing 16 first-half points, the Mav­er­icks pushed back fro­man early 14-point deficit to a 55-54 half­time lead. Dragic paced the Heat with 14 first-half points.

As he has done dur­ing the teams’ ri­valry, Mav­er­icks coach Rick Carlisle turned to a zone de­fense in the sec­ond pe­riod, with the Mav­er­icks outscor­ing the Heat 33-23 in the quar­ter.

Carlisle went into the game con­cerned about the Heat’s draw-and-kick game, in­stead will­ing to con­cede cer­tain spot-up jumper, with the Heat 5 of 8 on 3-point­ers in the first half.

The Heat com­mit­ted turnovers on their first three pos­ses­sions, but then pushed their lead to 14 in the open­ing pe­riod be­hind the in­side play of White­side be­fore go­ing into the sec­ond quar­ter up 31-22.

White­side had nine points and six re­bounds in the first quar­ter when de­fended mostly by Now­itzki in Dal­las’ un­der­sized lineup.

LM OTERO/AP

Mav­er­icks guard Seth Curry shoots against Heat cen­ter Has­san White­side dur­ing the sec­ond half. He paced the Mav­er­icks with 29 points.

LM OTERO/AP

Heat for­ward James John­son at­tempts to block Mav­er­icks guard Seth Curry’s shot dur­ing the first half.

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