Stats & Info: Chris Bosh

Keys to victory: Pacers 84, Heat 83

March, 27, 2014
Mar 27

The Heat could not close the game against the Indiana Pacers.
The Indiana Pacers' win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night lived up to its billing as one of the most intense matchups of the NBA season.

The physicality of the contest might turn out to be one of the big storylines, but what else was of note?

Shot of the game: West for 3
David West hit a 3-pointer to extend the Pacers' lead to 84-80. Prior to the shot, West was 3-for-12 on 3-point attempts this season and was a 25 percent shooter from 3-point range for his career.

James scores 38 but struggles down stretch
LeBron James finished with 38 points for the Heat but had as many turnovers (three) as points in the final 9:13 of the game.

James’ average shot distance in the fourth quarter was 18.2 feet from the basket. In the first three quarters, James’ average shot was 11.5 feet from the basket.

James has 21 points on 5-of-17 shooting from the field in what is defined as "clutch time" (last five minutes, score within five points) since his 61-point game on March 3. He was 1-for-3 in this game.

That might explain why Chris Bosh took the last shot. Bosh entered the day 2-for-4 on potential go-ahead field goals in the final 10 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime since becoming teammates with James. James is 2-for-13 in that same span.

Overall, the Heat were 4-for-13 from the field and committed seven turnovers in the final 12 minutes. They finished the game with only 61 shots, the fewest by any team in any game this season.

Part of the reason for the low number of attempts was the pace, as the Heat had only 87 possessions. Heat games against the Pacers have had a slower average pace (88.3) than Heat games against any other opponent over the past two seasons, including the playoffs.

Pacers cut off the Heat drives
The Heat scored 20 points in the paint in the first half, with 12 of those coming off drives to the basket.

But the Pacers clamped down in the second half, limiting the Heat to only 10 points in the paint, six of which came off drives.

The Heat could not make a shot from the outside, either. They shot 35 percent from 15 feet and beyond, including 2-for-10 in the fourth quarter.

George finds his way
Paul George scored 11 of his 23 points when guarded by LeBron James. He was 5-for-10 shooting against him.

George struggled against James in their first two meetings this season, scoring 11 points on 3-of-12 shooting in the two games combined.

Hibbert comes up big again
Roy Hibbert averaged 12 points per game in his first 16 career meetings with the Heat.

Since then, he's raised his play, and the Pacers have benefited. He had 21 points in Wednesday's win and is now averaging 20.6 points on 56 percent shooting in his past 10 games against the Heat.

Taking care of business
With the win, the Pacers improved to 8-0 at home against the other teams that are currently ranked in the top five of the Eastern Conference (2-0 each against the Heat, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets).

Top stats to know: NBA All-Star Weekend

February, 14, 2014
Feb 14
This weekend marks the 63rd NBA All-Star Game, with the league’s top players gathering in New Orleans for an entertaining basketball weekend.

The Eastern Conference leads the all-time series 36-26, but the West has won three straight games (Chris Paul won his MVP last year). The current three-game win streak is tied for the West’s longest all-time (also won three straight spanning 2002-04).

What else should you know about All-Star Weekend?

James & Durant
LeBron James was the leading overall vote-getter with 1,416,419 votes, followed closely by Kevin Durant, who finished with 1,396,294.

Durant has scored 30 or more points in three straight All-Star games, the longest 30-point streak in All-Star Game history.

His career scoring average of 28.8 points per game in the All-Star game is currently the best all-time. James ranks second at 25.1 points.

James has already scored the fifth-most career points in All-Star Game history.

The Big 3
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are the fourth trio of teammates in NBA history to be selected to four straight All-Star games.

The Elias Sports Bureau notes that the last trio to do so was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and James Worthy from 1985-86 to 1988-89. The trio with the most consecutive All-Star selections was John Havlicek, Dave Cowens and Jo Jo White, with six.

Another type of ‘Big 3’
Paul George, John Wall and Damian Lillard were each selected to the All-Star game and the Slam Dunk contest. It’s the first time since 1988 in which three All-Stars will compete in both the All-Star game and the Slam Dunk contest (Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins and Clyde Drexler).

Lillard is scheduled to participate in five events and would be the first player to do so dating back to 2003 (the first year of the Skills Competition).

Lillard has already broken the record for most 3-point field goals made over a player’s first two seasons in the NBA and will try to upend defending 3-point champ Kyrie Irving.

Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge are the first pair of Trail Blazers teammates to be selected to the All-Star Game since 1993-94 (Drexler and Clifford Robinson).

No Kobe, No Lakers
This is the first time since 1996 that a Los Angeles Lakers player won’t play in the All-Star game (Kobe Bryant was selected but is out with a knee injury).

Bryant’s replacement, Anthony Davis, is averaging 20.5 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.1 blocks this season. The last player to average at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in a single season was Shaquille O’Neal in 1999-00.

But a former Laker will be there
When Dwight Howard takes the court this All-Star game, he'll become the first player in NBA history to play in three straight All-Star games, each representing a different team (2011-12 Orlando Magic, 2012-13 Lakers, 2013-14 Houston Rockets).

Allen Iverson is the only other player in NBA history that was selected to three straight All-Star games with a different team but he did not play in one of those games.

First timers
There are six first-time All-Stars this year -- Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, DeMar DeRozan, Damian Lillard, Paul Millsap and John Wall.

Curry is set to become the first Golden State Warriors starter in the All-Star game since Latrell Sprewell in 1995. He is currently in the top five in both points and assists per game.

The last player to finish a season in the top five in both of those categories was Tiny Archibald in 1975-76.

The lone Maverick
Dirk Nowitzki has now been selected to the All-Star game 12 times. On eight of those occasions, he was the only member of his team that was selected. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that only Michael Jordan (9) and Patrick Ewing (9) were their teams' lone All-Star selections more times than Nowitzki.

Dunking time
Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors will try to defend his slam-dunk title. He’s trying to become the fourth player to win back-to-back dunk-contest titles, along with Michael Jordan (1987 and 1988), Jason Richardson (2002 and 2003) and Nate Robinson (2009 and 2010).

Top stats to know: Durant vs James

January, 29, 2014
Jan 29
Kevin Durant has dominated in a number of spots during his hot streak.

When comparing the two most dominant basketball players currently on the planet, you have to consider that LeBron James has won 13 of 16 head-to-head meetings against Kevin Durant.

But Durant is the hotter player right now. He's scored at least 30 points in 11 straight games, the longest streak in the NBA since Tracy McGrady's 14-game run in 2002-2003.

What are some of the statistical storylines for this epic matchup (7 PM ET, ESPN)?

Durant has no trouble scoring vs. the Heat
Durant has more 30-point games against the Miami Heat (seven) than anyone else in the NBA since he joined the league in the 2007-2008 season. He's tallied one more than Carmelo Anthony and James, who both have six.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Durant's career scoring average of 29.3 points per game vs the Heat is the second-highest all-time behind Michael Jordan’s 30.1 (minimum 10 games).

The biggest difference in this hot streak is Durant's shooting efficiency in isolation – he was shooting only 41 percent from the field in isolation situations in his first 34 games, but is 23 for 41 (57 percent) in his last 11 games.

The Heat excel at limiting the pick-and-roll ballhandler (34 percent shooting against them is the lowest field-goal percent against any NBA team) and at defending isolation (opponents shooting only 34 percent, third-lowest in the league). But they have struggled in transition defense: Opponents are shooting 59 percent against Miami in transition this season (the second-highest field-goal percentage allowed in the NBA). That could be an area for Oklahoma City and Durant to exploit.
Is Durant headed towards an all-time best season? He could be.

Durant is averaging over 30 points and shooting over 40 percent from the 3-point line. The only other player to average 30 points while shooting 40 percent from 3-point range over a full season is Michael Jordan (1995-96).

Durant has a 31.1 PER (Player Efficiency Rating) entering the day. If maintained, that would be the ninth-highest in a single season since the 1953-54 season (the first for PER tracking). Only three players have finished a season with a higher PER-- Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain three times each, and James twice. For more on Durant's PER, check out this video piece from Tom Haberstroh.

Durant’s D
Consider that Durant is doing all of this scoring while simultaneously playing high-level defense.

In fact, over his last 10 games, his defense has been great too. Players he’s defended shot 38 percent with him as the on-the-ball defender in the first 34 games of the season. In his last 11 games, that number has dipped to 29 percent shooting (32 for 112) when he’s been the on-the-ball defender.

Don't forget about LeBron
Although James is averaging a career-low 37 minutes per game and field goal attempts per game, he still has had his opportunity to maintain an MVP level of play.

James has posted comparable numbers to Durant this season. James and Durant are tied for the league-lead in points per shot attempt, but James has the edge in both assist and rebound percentage (Assist percentage is the percentage of teammate field goals a player assisted when he was on the floor. Rebound percentage is the percentage of available rebounds a player recorded while he was on the floor).

James has also kept busier than Durant. According to’s player-tracking data, James is averaging eight more touches per game (74.5 vs. 66.3). and possesses the ball about a minute-and-a-half more than Durant per game.

James enters the day shooting 58 percent from the field this season, boosted by shooting nearly 74 percent from in the paint.

However, he's in a little bit of a slump in one regard-- he's 6 for 26 from 3-point range in his last seven games.

If there's one player to watch besides those two ...
James' top sidekick on Wednesday should be Chris Bosh, who is averaging 24 points on 61 percent shooting over his last seven games, fueled by a recent run of success on mid-range shots.

Over the last seven games, Bosh is 28 for 44 on mid-range shots, including 15 of 18 from the right side of the floor.

Recent key for Bosh: Mid-range hot streak

January, 26, 2014
Jan 26

Chris Bosh has been hot from nearly everywhere on the floor.
Chris Bosh's recent run doesn’t quite match up with Kevin Durant's, but it is very impressive nonetheless.

Bosh made nine of 10 shots in the Miami Heat's rout of the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday. It was the second-best field goal percentage he’s ever had in a game in which he took at least 10 shots from the field. He was 11 for 12 against the Sacramento Kings on January 16, 2008.

Bosh was a perfect 4 for 4 from the field on mid-range shots (two-point attempts from outside the paint), continuing a hot stretch of making those shots.

Over the last seven games, Bosh is 28 for 44 on mid-range shots (including 15 of 18 from the right side).

Bosh entered the day shooting 47 percent on mid-range jumpers this season, 10th-best in the NBA.

He finished second in the league last season, shooting 50 percent on those attempts.

Key to victory: Heat own the paint

December, 25, 2013

What were the keys to the Miami Heat's win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday?

It really came down to one key. Scoring and creating from in close.

James beats the traffic
LeBron James was 1 for 8 shooting outside the paint, but made up for that with his work going to the basket.

James drove to the basket nine times, which resulted in 15 points (11 points for him and two assists).

James’ season averages as highlighted by player-tracking data on, are 5.9 drives per game and 6.9 team points per game.

James finished a perfect 6-for-6 in the paint for the game.

Wade gets to the rim
Dwyane Wade posted his fifth straight 20-point game and did so almost exclusively from in the paint. Wade was 11 for 17 from the field for the game with an average shot distance of 7.3 feet. He scored 20 of his 23 points in the paint, his second most paint points this season and tied for the fourth most by a guard this season.

Wade leads all guards with 10.9 paint points per game this season.

Bosh more proactive
Chris Bosh went 8 for 12 from inside of five feet en route to his third 20-point/10-rebound game this season.

The 12 shots from in-close were unusual for Bosh. He’s averaged only 3.5 attempts per game from that close this season.

It all adds up
The Heat outscored the Lakers 58-26 in the paint, their highest paint-points differential this season. The previous high was 28 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Dec. 7.

Heat rally to even season series with Pacers

December, 18, 2013

Issac Baldizon/NBAE/Getty ImagesDwyane Wade scored 24 of his game-high 35 points in the paint.
After trailing by as many as 15 points, the Miami Heat rallied late and closed on a 12-2 run to even their season series with the Indiana Pacers at one apiece.

Dwyane Wade led all scorers with a season-high 32 points, making 15 of 25 from the field. It was his 202nd career 30-point game, fourth among all players since he entered the league in 2003.

Most of Wade's scoring came in the paint, where he scored 24 points on 18 attempts. It’s Wade’s most points in the paint in a single game since scoring 28 against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 4 last season.

LeBron James overcame early foul trouble -- he was whistled for a season-high three fouls in the first half -- to finish with 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

Chris Bosh added 15 points, including the 3-pointer that tied it at 92 during Miami's game-ending run. Overall, the Heat's Big Three combined for 71 of Miami's 97 points, and shot a combined 57 percent from the field.

For the Pacers, in what's become typical fashion, Paul George ramped up his scoring after halftime. The NBA's best second-half scorer this season had 18 of his team-high 25 points after halftime.

George fared better when he was guarded by someone other than James on Wednesday. With James defending him, George was 3-for-9 from the field with six points and two turnovers. Against everyone else, he scored 19 points on 5-for-7 shooting with one turnover.

Roy Hibbert entered the game averaging nearly 19 points the past two seasons against the Heat, but struggled with foul trouble as well, drawing his fifth foul with 8:34 remaining in the third quarter. He finished with six points in 23 minutes, his second straight game with fewer than 10 points.

Maybe not surprisingly, with their best rim protector battling foul trouble all night, the Pacers allowed a season-high 50 points in the paint.

The loss was the Pacers' first this season when leading after three quarters. Prior to Wednesday, they had been 18-0 in such situations.

Why Ray Allen will succeed in Miami

July, 7, 2012
PM ET IllustrationRay Allen has agreed to join LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.
With Ray Allen agreeing to sign with the Miami Heat, the NBA champions have added one of the greatest shooters in league history.

How will Allen fit in with the Heat?

Using Synergy Sports Technology to analyze Allen’s potential role with the Heat, it seems that he will fit in just fine.


The acquisitions of LeBron James and Chris Bosh created more open jumpers for the Heat. The year before the Big Three formed, only 41 percent of the Heat's catch-and-shoot jumpers were unguarded, the fifth lowest percentage in the league. But that percentage has increased over the past two seasons.

During the 2010-11 season, 57 percent of the Heat’s catch-and-shoot jumpers were unguarded, the second highest percentage in the NBA. And last season, 63 percent were unguarded, which ranked third.

Four of the Heat's current players that were in Miami prior to the Big Three era -- Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, James Jones and Udonis Haslem -- have received a significant increase in unguarded catch-and-shoot jumpers over the past two seasons as compared to the season before the Big Three formed.

Only 30 percent of Wade's shots were unguarded in 2009-10, but that percentage doubled to 60 percent last season. Nearly four of every five Chalmers catch-and-shoot jumpers last season were unguarded.


Chalmers, Wade, Jones and Haslem saw an immediate improvement on catch-and-shoot jumpers after LeBron and Bosh arrived. The most dramatic improvement was Wade, who went from a 28 percent shooter on catch-and-shoot jumpers in 2009-10 to 37 percent in 2010-11.


Allen has improved his field goal percentage on catch-and-shoot jumpers over the past two seasons as compared to the previous three seasons. He shot less than 43 percent and ranked outside of the top 50 (among the 200-plus players with at least 100 attempts) in each season from 2007-08 to 2009-10, but he shot 45 percent and ranked in the top 25 in each of the past two seasons.

Allen has also improved his field goal percentage on unguarded catch-and-shoot jumpers in each of the past two seasons. In 2009-10, he shot 42 percent on those shots. That percentage jumped to 51 percent in 2010-11 and 52 percent last season, which ranked sixth of the 68 players with at least 100 attempts.

Over the past few years, Allen has been left open more often on catch-and-shoot jumpers. In 2005-06, only 31 percent of those shots were unguarded. That percentage increased in each of the next three seasons. In 2010-11, he was left open on 49 percent of his catch-and-shoot jumpers, and last season 53 percent of those attempts were unguarded.


The Heat have had more open jumpers since LeBron and Bosh came to Miami. And the Heat’s most prominent shooters that were in Miami prior to the Big Three era became better shooters after LeBron and Bosh arrived. Allen was just as good of a shooter (if not better) last season as he was a few years ago. Part of this is because Allen has been left open more over the past two seasons.

If the pattern continues, expect Allen to receive even more open jumpers in Miami.

Celtics have trouble closing series

June, 6, 2012

Steve Mitchell/US PresswireThe Celtics are just 11-13 since 2007-08 with the chance to clinch a series.
A veteran squad such as the Boston Celtics have plenty of experience in closing out series, and will have the opportunity to do so against the Miami Heat in Game 6 on Thursday (8:30 ET, ESPN). But the Celtics haven't been as successful as fans might think when it comes to eliminating opponents recently.

Since Boston's Big 3 (Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen) formed entering the 2007-08 season, the Celtics have in fact struggled closing out postseason series. When having the opportunity to clinch, Boston is just 11-13 in those games over that span. This postseason, the Celtics are 2-2 in such games but just 0-2 in the first opportunity. The one silver lining, however, is that Boston is 9-2 in such chances at home.

LeBron James, however, has trailed 3-2 in a best-of-seven series four times in his postseason career. Each time, his team went on to lose the series, including suffering defeat at the hands of the Celtics twice. Only once out of those four times has a James-led team been able to force a Game 7.

What's more, James is usually at his postseason worst when trailing in a series. When his team is tied or leads the series, James is averaging 28.5 points per game while shooting 47.6 percent from the floor. Compare that to when his team trails the series; in those situations, James is putting up 27.4 points per game with a field goal percentage of just 42.8. His turnovers per game also increase from 3.2 to 5.3.

Miami now has Chris Bosh back in the lineup, but his addition did not help the Heat in Game 5, as they were outscored by 12 points in the 14 minutes with Bosh on the court. In addition, Miami was 20.8 percent from the floor with Bosh in the game and had more turnovers (seven) than field goals (five).

Heat return to comfort zone vs Celtics

June, 5, 2012

Credit: Steve Mitchell/US PresswireThe Game 5 winner has gone on to win the series 83.5 percent of the time when tied 2-2.
The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat (ESPN, 8:30 ET) will square off in Game 5 tonight with the winner taking a 3-2 lead in the series. The Celtics have put themselves in a good position to take control, because in the Big 3 era (since 2007-08 season), Boston is 8-0 in Game 5s when the series is tied 2-2.

The Heat, however, have been very comfortable at home against the Celtics recently. Miami is 6-1 at home against the Celtics in the postseason all-time, and according to Elias, Miami’s current six-game home postseason win streak against Boston is its longest against a single opponent in franchise history.

The Game 5 winner has gone on to win the series 83.5 percent of the time when tied 2-2.

Miami has certainly been more comfortable at home this postseason, averaging 100.4 points compared to 91.0 on the road. That's crucial, considering the Heat are 7-0 this postseason when scoring at least 100 points, and were 25-4 in such games during the regular season.

The focus for Miami will again likely be in the closing seconds. Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem each missed game-tying and go-ahead attempts with under 24 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and OT in Game 4, and the Heat are now 0-for-10 on such shots in the last two postseasons. Overall, Wade is now 2-8 on game-tying or go-ahead shots in the final 24 seconds of the fourth quarter or OT in his postseason career, below the league average of 26.9 percent. By comparison, LeBron James is 5-14 (35.7 percent) in those situations.

What's more, Wade has been a slow starter this series. He is averaging just 5.5 points on 25.8 percent shooting in the first half of games against the Celtics, his lowest points average for a first half for any round in his postseason career.

The Heat are also hoping to activate Chris Bosh for Game 5. His status could be pivotal, as Miami is 5-1 this postseason in games Bosh has played, with a +13.2 points differential in that span.

On the other side, the Celtics have relied heavily on Rajon Rondo in this series. Boston has been much better with Rondo on the court, averaging more than 19 points per 48 minutes compared to when he’s been off the floor. According to Elias, Rondo has 13 double-digit assist games this postseason and 38 for his career, and when he takes the court tonight, he'll be looking for his 39th 10-assist game, which would break the all-time Celtics record originally held by Bob Cousy.

Rondo's postseason performance has also placed him in great company this year. He's averaging 17.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 11.9 assists in 16 games this postseason, and according to Elias only one player in NBA history has averaged at least 17 points, six rebounds and 11 assists in 10+ games played in a single postseason (Magic Johnson did it six times).

Statistical support for this story from

Heat must transition better in Indiana

May, 17, 2012

Robert Duyos/Sun Sentinel/MCT/Getty ImagesWithout Chris Bosh, much more will be asked of LeBron James (left) and Dwyane Wade.
(The Indiana Pacers host the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Thursday at 7 ET on ESPN.)

How important is Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat? From the historical perspective, it’s very important.

Best-of-seven series in which the first two games were split have been won by the Game 3 winner 77 percent of the time (143 out of 187). It would seem to be even more critical for the Pacers than the Heat. If the visiting team wins Game 3 in a 1-1 series, that team has gone on to win the series 83 percent of the time. When the home team wins Game 3 in this scenario, it wins the series 71 percent of the time (74 of 104).

Whatever the outcome of Game 3, expect it to be low-scoring. Both teams have held their opponents to fewer than 100 points in each game this postseason. In fact, the Heat are first (82.6) and the Pacers are tied for second (84.1) in scoring defense this postseason.

The Heat are coming off a Game 2 loss that saw them score fewer than 75 points in a playoff game for the first time since 2009, and that probably had something to do with their failure to convert in transition.

In Game 2, Miami was outscored by Indiana in transition, 16-10. The Heat are 0-2 this postseason when they are outscored in transition. Miami also shot a postseason-low 22.2 percent (2-9) in transition, including 0-for-3 by Dwyane Wade.

Also in Game 2, LeBron James missed two free throws with 54 seconds left and the Heat trailing by one point. This season (including playoffs), James now is 10-17 on free throws in one-possession games in the fourth quarter or overtime with one minute or less remaining. The rest of the Heat are a combined 13-for-15.

Miami’s troubles in transition could have been offset by a more effective half-court game, but the Heat have struggled in that facet of the game so far in this series.

After shooting 44 percent against the Knicks in the first round, Miami is hitting just 38 percent of its shots in the half court against Indiana. And the Heat’s match-up along the front line -- already a statistical advantage for the Pacers -- has been tipped even more Indiana’s way by the injury to Chris Bosh.

Of the eight teams left in the playoffs, Indiana owns the second-highest scoring starting front court (45.3 points per game). Only the Boston Celtics receive more scoring production from their front-court starters.

The Pacers have outrebounded their opponents 322-277 this postseason. Their +6.4 postseason rebound difference is the highest among the remaining teams in the postseason.

Roy Hibbert has been a force inside for the Pacers, averaging 11.4 points and 10.9 rebounds this postseason. David West is averaging 16.0 points and 10.0 rebounds, making them the only teammates averaging a double-double this postseason. Hibbert is also second in blocks this postseason averaging 3.29 per game (Andrew Bynum, 3.40).
Statistically speaking, the Miami Heat put on a performance Friday night that was akin to what you might see in a game like NBA Jam.

The Heat’s 14 dunks are the most they’ve had in any game in the past five seasons. All but one were by either Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh. That was the most dunks the Heat have had in any game this season by a wide margin. Their next-most was 10 against the New York Knicks on January 27.

Those dunks in turn led to a season-high 64 points in the paint, including their first 18 of the game. The Heat’s Big Three was 23-for-32 from inside five feet.

Wade, James, and Bosh each made 11 field goals and shot over 60 percent from the field. Elias notes that the last trio to each shoot better than 60 percent AND make at least 11 shots from the field was Al Jefferson, Paul Pierce, and Tony Allen for the Boston Celtics in the 2006-07 season.

Elsewhere around the league the Dallas Mavericks entered its game against the Orlando Magic having won five straight road meetings. The longest current winning streak any team had against the Magic in Orlando.

Dwight Howard did his part to stop the streak with 19 points and 15 rebounds, marking his 42nd double-double this season (second-most in the NBA).

The Mavericks trailed most of the game even by as many as seven points entering the fourth quarter. However their defense forced the Magic into poor shooting and turnovers in the final period, which ultimately spelled doom for Orlando. The Magic shot just 35 percent from the field while turning it over six times.

The Mavericks took advantage of those mistakes, scoring nine points off of turnovers in the fourth quarter.

The final blow to the Magic was Dirk Nowitzki hitting the game-winning jumper with 5.9 seconds left.

Elias says it was the 11th time in his NBA career that Nowitzki made a game-winning basket in the final 10 seconds of a game, and the second time this season. Seven of Nowitzki’s 11 such hoops came on the road, including each of the last three.

The Mavericks are now 75-31 (.708) against Eastern Conference teams since Rick Carlisle took over as the team’s head coach in 2008. That is the highest inter-conference winning percentage for any team in the league over that span.

Number of the Night
The Celtics took over first place in the Atlantic Division with a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves and loss by the Philadelphia 76ers to the Washington Wizards. The 76ers had a share of first place for 93 straight days.

They entered first place on December 28, and held at least a share every day until Friday night.

Statistical support for this story from