Dallas Mavericks: 3 takeaways from the loss to the Miami Heat

Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Mavericks had a hot start, but the Miami Heat finished strong en route to a 105-99 victory on March 28. Here are three takeaways from that game.

The Dallas Mavericks visited Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat on Thursday and suffered a 105-99 loss. The game is the last meeting of the season for the two clubs, and the final time Wade will face the Mavs. The 16-year vet is retiring at the end of the 2018-19 season.

Dallas has now failed to secure a win in its last four trips to the American Airlines Arena, dating back to the 2015-16 season.

Here are three takeaways from the March 28 game between the Mavericks and the Heat.

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One game separates Dirk and Wade

For Dwyane Wade, this game marked his final head-to-head matchup with Dirk Nowitzki. After 23 regular season battles, Wade finishes with the slight edge, winning 12 of their meetings.

As for the postseason, the two future Hall of Famers are deadlocked at every turn. Both have six playoff wins, one NBA Finals victory, and one NBA Finals MVP. They even each clinched their respective Finals victories on the road.

Dallas struggles in second half

Leading by as many as 11, the Mavericks took a commanding 59-49 lead into halftime. The second half is where things began to unravel for Dallas. It all started with a ten to one run by Miami to start the third quarter, bringing the score to 60-59. Miami tied the game at 64, shortly after, when Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo connected for an alley-oop at the 8:40 mark in the third.

Though the Mavs managed to take an 82-75 lead into the final period, they once again surrendered the lead. This time, a seven to zero Miami run tied things up at 82. Unlike the previous quarter, shots stopped falling for Dallas down the stretch, while Miami found its rhythm at the right time.

Dragic wins battle over Doncic

The other Slovenian point guard on the floor had a spectacular game. Miami’s Goran Dragic finished with a triple-double, scoring a game-high 23 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing out 11 assists. He played under control and in rhythm, only turning the ball over three times while going 9-of-17 from the field. For good measure, the crafty floor general added a steal and a block to his already impressive stat line.

With many Slovenian fans on hand, Luka Doncic also had a strong stat line. He finished with 19 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. It was Dragic who got the upper hand on Thursday evening.

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The Dallas Mavericks return to action on Sunday, when they visit Russell Westbrook and Paul George in Oklahoma City. The Thunder (44-31) have struggled as of late, losing three of their last four home games. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m. ET. As always, go Mavs!