Heat
Mavericks
105 - 94 Final
  for this game

Mavs raise banner, Heat play like champs

Dec 26, 2011 - 12:29 AM Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - The celebration didn't last long.

The Dallas Mavericks unfurled their 2010-11 championship banner in a pregame ceremony Christmas Day, then were utterly dismantled, 105-94, by a duly motivated Miami Heat squad.

For the Heat, the whooping was a measure of revenge after June's six-game NBA Finals defeat at the hands of the Mavs. LeBron James, largely maligned for his underwhelming Finals performance, dominated on Sunday, pouring in 37 points and going 15-of-19 from the foul line. Dwyane Wade added 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists, as the Heat led by as many as 35.

"I'm encouraged," Wade said. "It's different from last year and we're little more together and more comfortable. This is step one and we did a good job today."

Jason Terry scored 23 points, while Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki finished with 21. Shawn Marion had 12 points and Jason Kidd chipped in nine.

Key offseason acquisition Lamar Odom scored just four points and was ejected in the third quarter for arguing a charging call. Delonte West and Vince Carter, also new additions to the Mavs, finished with 10 and five points, respectively.

Just six months removed from their first-ever NBA title, the Mavericks appeared to be suffering from a hangover of sorts. The abbreviated two-game preseason -- a product of the league's lengthy lockout -- also appeared to diminish a Dallas team which underwent a noticeable offseason overhaul.

Missing from the pregame ceremony was defensive anchor Tyson Chandler, who landed in New York during the brief offseason. Odom, a former Laker, enjoyed a lackluster debut before his hasty exit and Carter went just 2-for-6 from the field in 20 minutes.

The Heat, meanwhile, did little offseason tweaking, returning with their core of James, Wade and Chris Bosh intact. Their main offseason acquisition was that of heady vet Shane Battier.

The result was a cohesive and focused Miami team, which dominated the opening half to the tune of a 62-41 lead at the break. James had 18 points over that span, while Wade poured in 14.

The second half proved no different, as the Heat opened with a 16-2 run, extending their advantage to 78-43 on James' tip-pass alley-oop to Wade. At that point, James and Wade had single-handedly outscored the entire Dallas team, combining for 45.

The Mavs scored the game's final eight points to make the final score respectable, but the outcome was never in question.

"We've got to get better and it will take a little time to get better," Odom said. "Even though the start of the season is going to be a sprint it's still a long season with 65 to go."

Game Notes

The NBA lockout began July 1 and officially ended on December 8, when players and owners agreed to a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement. The result: a shortened, 66-game regular season...Dallas captured its first-ever NBA title in its 31st season...James' 37 points were a Heat opening-day record...The Mavericks host the Nuggets on Monday, then have a back-to-back later in the week, visiting the Thunder on Thursday before hosting the Raptors on Friday...The Heat host the Celtics on Tuesday and visit the Bobcats on Wednesday.