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Sunday, November 28, 2010
How the Mavs melted the Heat

By Jeff Caplan

After every Miami Heat game, the tireless researchers at ESPN Stats & Information break down what went right and what went wrong. On Saturday night, the Dallas Mavericks led by 18 points in the third quarter before holding off a late Heat rally for a 106-95 victory.

It was Dallas' fifth consecutive win, while the Heat lost for the fourth time in five games.

Here's what they found when they went inside the box score:

Painting it on
The Heat entered Saturday second to last in the NBA averaging just 33.1 points in the paint per game. Dallas was the only team worse than Miami but bucked this trend by scoring 48 paint points on Saturday. Miami did not even meet its average, netting just 26 points in the paint.

Heat big 3 to blame
The Heat were outscored 57-46 in 26 minutes of action with Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh on the floor together. Without all three on the court together the Heat were an even 49-49.

Dirk is the boss
Dirk Nowitzki posted a game high +28 while on the court Saturday. With Dirk on the floor, Dallas shot 50.7%; without Dirk the Mavericks were outscored 28-11 and shot only 27.8% from the field. Entering Saturday Dallas was +12.9 per 48 minutes with Dirk on the court and an astounding -25.1 per 48 minutes without him on the floor.