LeBron’s 39 points push Heat past Mavs
MIAMI — LeBron James scored 39 points, Dwyane Wade had 17 points, eight assists and a career-best eight steals, and the Miami Heat held off the Dallas Mavericks 110-104 Friday night.
James made 14 of 18 shots for the Heat (6-3), while Chris Bosh scored 14 points. Norris Cole and Rashard Lewis each added 11 for Miami, which has topped the 100-point mark in every game this season.
Wade became the second player in Heat history with at least eight steals and eight assists in a game; Tim Hardaway did it against Atlanta on Dec. 20, 1997.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points for Dallas (5-4), while Vince Carter added 21 and Monta Ellis had 20 for the Mavericks. Jose Calderon added 12 for Dallas, which turned the ball over 24 times.
Miami led by as many as 13 in the second half, then actually trailed, and needed to play the final 5:01 without point guard Mario Chalmers. He was ejected after referees ruled he intentionally swung an elbow at Nowitzki’s head while trying to fight through a screen set by the Mavs’ Samuel Dalembert.
Chalmers helped Nowitzki up after the play, but the damage was done.
Chalmers argued the flagrant-2 call, but referee Ron Garretson’s review of the video didn’t do anything to change the officiating crew’s collective minds, and the Heat starter was done for the night. Nowitzki made both free throws after the flagrant to get Dallas within three, then added a jumper 44 seconds later to cut Miami’s lead to 98-97.
But the Mavs never got the lead again. Bosh and James scored Miami’s next eight points, and the Heat lead was up to 106-99 with 46.7 seconds left.
The Heat were again without Udonis Haslem (back spasms) and Ray Allen (flu).
Shane Battier started for Haslem and was guarding Nowitzki, who hit three 3-pointers from the top of the key in the game’s first 5:03 and helped the Mavs run out to an early seven-point edge. But the Heat led for the final 10:19 of the half, opening up as much as a 12-point lead before settling on a 60-51 edge at the half.
James had 18 at the break, while Wade was already up to a 13-point, five-assist, four-rebound, three-steal night. And Wade stuffed his stats more early in the third, first with a layup, then moments later with a steal and assist to set up a dunk by James, putting the Heat up 66-53 with 10:16 left in the third.
That closed what was a 52-32 run by Miami.
Without warning, the pendulum swung back Dallas’ way.
Over the next seven minutes, the Heat missed 10 of 11 shots – four of them getting blocked – and the Mavericks took full advantage, reclaiming the lead with a 19-4 run. Calderon had six of Dallas’ points in that spurt, including a 3-pointer with 3:20 left that put the Mavs on top 72-70.
They kept the lead for all of 21 seconds.
Miami scored 16 points in the final 2:59 of the third, nine of those points coming on a combined 74 feet worth of jump shots from James, and the Heat took an 86-78 lead into the final 12 minutes.
NOTES: James’ oldest son had 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in a game Thursday, and afterward, the boy proclaimed he had a triple-double. His father, who’s had 36 of them in the pros, then set him straight on what a triple-double is. … Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said G Shane Larkin (ankle) is getting closer to making his debut. Carlisle was once coached by Jim Larranaga, Larkin’s coach at the University of Miami. … The teams combined for eight entries on the NBA All-Star ballot released Friday. James, Wade, Bosh, Allen and Chalmers represent Miami; Shawn Marion, Nowitzki and Ellis were on there for Dallas.