Dallas, TX – Suffice it to say the Miami Heat have put their 2011 NBA Finals loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the rearview mirror.
LeBron James logged 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists and was able to watch from the sideline in the fourth quarter as the Heat annihilated the Mavericks in a 110-95 mismatch at American Airlines Center.
After losing in the aforementioned Finals series, Miami swept Dallas last season with a pair of double-digit decisions and led by as many as 36 Thursday by shooting 54 percent from the field.
Dwyane Wade contributed 19 points and six assists while Chris Bosh added 17 points in the lopsided victory, Miami's fifth in its last six games.
"We don't want to give a team too much confidence at home. We understand this team was short-handed," Wade said. "We wanted to come out here on the road and make a statement."
The short-handed Mavs shot just 39 percent from the floor and an even worse 3- of-22 from 3-point range to lose for the fourth time in five games. Jae Crowder had a team-high 15 points in defeat.
"They were making tough shots when we weren't, then we had more poor breakdowns as the game went on," Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said. "It was very disappointing on how we played, but we'll have to forget it quickly."
Dallas is still playing without Dirk Nowitzki (knee), but the perennial All- Star practiced Wednesday and is expected to make his season debut next week. Three other Mavs regulars sat out with injuries: guard Derek Fisher (knee), forward Brandon Wright (ankle) and forward Elton Brand (groin).
James showcased his full offensive arsenal in a first quarter that saw the reigning league MVP net 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting to go with three assists. During a 10-0 run that stretched Miami's lead to 22-11, James hit a mid-range jumper, a 3-pointer and threw down an alley-oop dunk from Wade.
Later in the frame, Wade threw a length-of-the-court football pass to James near the opposite basket, and James outjumped two defenders for the ball before laying in an easy deuce.
The Mavs cut into their 31-20 deficit by scoring 13 of the first 17 points of the second quarter, but the Heat answered with an 11-2 run to pull away.
Bosh scored six points on the spurt, which ended with Shane Battier draining a 3-pointer for a 47-35 lead with under five minutes left in the half. James' jumper in the final minute made it a 58-42 game at the break.
James connected from behind the arc to put the finishing touches on a 9-0 burst for a 67-44 cushion early in the third quarter. The Heat went on to win the frame, 33-19, and their reserves played the entire final stanza with the outcome already decided.
Dating back to last season, the Heat are 30-0 when shooting at least 50 percent from the field ... The Mavs were 6-0 against Eastern Conference teams at home this season... Miami shot 10-of-28 from behind the arc ... Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel was in attendance.