Dallas Mavericks' old X-factor reemerges at optimal time in win over Heat

San Antonio Spurs v Dallas Mavericks
San Antonio Spurs v Dallas Mavericks / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

When the Dallas Mavericks signed Dante Exum over the summer, it was a move that many fans questioned.

Exum had been out of the NBA for multiple seasons, and couldn't stay healthy at all. His young career was plagued with injuries, but he had turned into an effective shooter while playing overseas, and now is having an effective season with Dallas.

Exum had a great stretch as a starter, battled injuries, and now played a key role in the Mavs' 114-108 win over the Miami Heat on Thursday night.

Dallas Mavericks' old X-factor reemerges at optimal time in win over Heat

Exum finished with 13 points, four rebounds, and five assists while shooting 3-5 from the field, 2-2 from downtown, and 5-5 from the free-throw line. He hit some big shots down the stretch and hit some clutch free throws when it mattered most.

The Mavs have needed Exum to return to the player that he was during the first half of the season, and his coming out party happened at the perfect time, especially with Tim Hardaway Jr.'s struggles persisting.

Luka Doncic also put on a show in this game, as he finished with 35 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, and one steal while shooting 12-24 from the field and 7-13 from downtown. Doncic showed up when it mattered most in this game and showed composure and leadership among his teammates through the toughest parts of the game.

The Mavs needed this victory over the Heat badly, as their loss against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday was their third-straight loss. Dallas' defense will need to be much better if they want to contend in the Western Conference.

Thursday's win against the Heat was a step in the right direction.

For all the latest on Dante Exum, Luka Doncic, and the Dallas Mavericks this season, stay tuned.