The Dallas Mavericks got the best of LeBron James once. Apparently, he's committed to never letting it happen again. Ever. The sting of the Miami Heat's loss to the Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals muted by the Heat's 2012 and 2013 championships, James and the Heat moved to 5-0 against Dallas since that 2011 championship series with a 110-104 victory Friday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. "You never want to lose to guys who beat you," center Chris Bosh said. Particularly the Mavericks, who created questions about the Heat's Big Three possibilities at the outset of James, Bosh and Dwyane Wade coming together. Now, it's James producing answers at every turn, including a 39-point effort Friday that was achieved on only 18 shots, the most points he has scored on so few attempts. "That's him being aggressive and taking the initiative to really be aggressive," coach Erik Spoelstra said, "I liked the way he was attacking the basket. "He wants to win more than anything." When James wasn't attacking on one end, it was Wade fueling the Heat's offense from the other end, with his eight steals contributing to the Mavericks' 24 turnovers. "The more alert and active he is," Spoelstra said of Wade, "that's the type of playmaker he is, to be able to make reads, to be a free safely." Wade said he was locked in on the defensive end. "It's just in a groove in a different kind of way," he said of his individual defensive success. "Normally, we get in a zone offensively and we go for forty. That's kind of a zone defensively, where you're just reading the defense." But it was James who seized ultimate control. "I'm extremely pleased with what I was able to accomplish tonight to help us win," he said. "That's the most important thing, I was able to make some plays and help us win. That means everything to me." No sooner did the Mavericks storm back from a 13-point deficit earlier in the third period to tie it, then James stepped up with a 3-pointer and kept on going. "His efficiency," Spoelstra said, "when he's not taking throwaway shots, he's skilled enough to shoot an extremely high percentage." Or, as Bosh said, "It's a lot we're asking of him, but he steps up to the plate every time." With Wade adding 17 points and eight assists, the Heat were able to overcome 12 Mavericks 3-pointers, 28 points from Dirk Nowitzki, 21 from Vince Carter and 20 from Monta Ellis to close out a 3-1 homestand.
LeBron's 39 power Heat to 110-104 victory over Mavericks
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Nov 16