Since reaching the mountaintop against Miami in the 2011 NBA championship, the Dallas Mavericks haven’t beaten the Heat again.
That trend was extended Sunday night when Miami strolled to a workmanlike 105-96 victory over the Mavs before 20,195 at American Airlines Center.
It was the seventh straight win for the Heat over Dallas since the Mavs danced on Miami’s court on June 12, 2011, in the start of a wild celebration.
But there was nothing for the Mavs to celebrate Sunday. Nothing.
“I thought we looked flat,” said Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki, who finished with 17 points and six rebounds. “We never really had the energy going.
“We ran from behind all night. Just overall we didn’t have enough pep in our step to really make this a game to compete.’’
The Heat was coming off a victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.
“They just came in off a back-to-back and it seemed like they had a little bit more pop in their step than we did,” said Mavs center Tyson Chandler, who had 16 points and 15 rebounds. “It’s very disappointing because you never want it to be about competing.
“That has to come from within the locker room. We have to pride ourselves and we have to have more pride than we showed tonight.’’
The Heat used an 11-0 run over the final 2:22 of the first period to take a 29-20 lead into the second quarter. Behind Luol Deng (30 points), Chris Bosh (20 points, 10 rebounds) and Dwyane Wade (20 points, 10 assists), Miami’s lead kept growing into it led 94-72 with 6:40 remaining in the game.
“I’m concerned about how we’re competing as a team,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “We just have a problem right now from top to bottom with consistency.”
Chandler Parsons entered Sunday’s game hoping his shooting woes were over. They weren’t.
After shooting only 1-of-11 from the field and scoring five points Friday night in Utah, Parsons was just 1-of-9 from the floor with four points against Miami.
“I’ve never really gone through a slump where I shot the ball this poorly,” Parsons said. “It’s definitely frustrating, but I’ve just got to continue to shoot the ball.”
Practically nothing fell for the Mavs as they shot 42.2 percent from the field and missed 20 of 29 shots from beyond the 3-point arc. On the flip side, Miami made 55.3 percent of its shots and was in control of the game from beginning to end.
“Obviously we didn’t put up much resistance, especially on the defensive end,” guard Devin Harris said. “We’re not going to beat many teams playing the way we did tonight.”
Jae Crowder provided the Mavs with a lift off the bench when he scored all 15 of his points in the fourth quarter. But by then, the Heat had already settled into a comfortable groove.
“From top to bottom our energy level as a team was not where it needed to be to win against those guys,” Crowder said. “That’s a good basketball team.”
This was the opener of a four-game homestand when the Mavs were hoping to gain a lot of traction in the rugged Western Conference.
“We’re 4-3; that’s enough for a red flag,” Nowitzki said. “This was a nice homestand with four home games. And you never want to start off a step slow and get beat by 20 on your home court.”