James, Heat take down Mavericks in OT

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LeBron James finished just shy of a triple-double and the Miami Heat extended Dallas' overtime struggles by posting a 119-109 victory over the slumping Mavericks at American Airlines Arena.

James tallied 32 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists to lead the Heat to a second consecutive triumph in extra time. Miami halted a two-game skid with a 112-110 overtime decision over Orlando on Monday.

"We have an ability to get enough stops when we're down late in the game, execute, make enough shots to either send the game into overtime or take control of the game and that's a good thing for a team," James remarked.

Dwyane Wade added 27 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, which began the additional frame with a 7-0 run that eventually resulted in the Mavericks' ninth consecutive overtime loss dating back to last season. Chris Bosh and Ray Allen contributed 17 and 15 points, respectively, to the win.

Dallas was dealt its seventh setback in its last eight overall games as well, despite 30 points from O.J. Mayo and a season-best performance from Dirk Nowitzki in his sixth outing back from right knee surgery.

Nowitzki amassed 19 points and six rebounds in 29 minutes for Dallas, which also received a 14-point, 10-rebound effort out of Chris Kaman.

Fifteen of Nowitzki's points were recorded in the second half, with the last two coming on a clutch 15-foot fadeaway with 3.9 seconds in regulation that forged a 103-103 tie and brought on overtime.

Miami got the extra segment off to a quick start, however, and never looked back.

Allen began OT with a 3-pointer and James buried a jumper off a Dallas turnover for a 108-103 Heat lead. Wade then stole an ill-advised inbounds pass from the Mavericks' Vince Carter and threw down an uncontested dunk to lengthen the differential to seven points just 1:19 in.

Dallas never recovered, making just 1-of-4 field goal attempts over the course of the overtime while giving the ball away three times total.

The Mavericks owned a 97-91 edge with 4:09 left in the fourth quarter after Mayo followed an Elton Brand tip-in with bucket from beyond the arc. Allen answered with a 3-pointer on Miami's next trip, but Nowitzki drained a trey on the ensuing possession to put Dallas up 100-94.

Miami then scored nine of the next 10 points, with Allen's layup after a James steal trimming the deficit to 101-100 and Shane Battier drilling a long- distance jumper with 14.5 seconds on the clock to put the Heat ahead prior to Nowitzki's late heroics.

"It shouldn't have gotten to overtime," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "Our inability to keep them out of the paint was our downfall."

The Heat started out the contest ice cold, misfiring on eight of their first 10 shots and falling behind by an 18-7 score after Darren Collison converted a 3-point play near the midway mark of the first quarter. Dallas would lead by as many as 12 during the frame, and owned a 44-34 advantage with just under six minutes to go in the half following a successful jumper by Mayo.

Miami closed the gap prior to the break, however, with James recording eight points during a 10-2 flurry that knotted the score at 48-48 with under a minute left before intermission. The Mavericks would hold a 52-50 halftime edge after Mayo fed Kaman for a short hook with 1.5 seconds remaining.

Mario Chalmers and Wade knocked down triples on back-to-back Miami possessions to kick-start another 10-2 sequence by the Heat during the third quarter, this one putting the reigning champs on top by a 78-69 count with three minutes left in the session.

Nowitzki then sparked a Dallas run, pouring in seven points during a 10-3 binge that pulled the Mavs within 81-79 heading into the fourth quarter.

Game Notes

The Mavericks are now 0-6 in overtime games this season and haven't won one since a 101-99 decision at Houston on Mar. 24 of the previous campaign ... Dallas lost for only the second time in nine tries when Mayo scores 25 or more points ... Miami posted its fifth straight home win and has totaled 100 or more points in 15 of 17 tests at American Airlines Arena this season ... The Heat have now prevailed eight times when trailing in the fourth quarter this season ... Dallas, which won at Washington Tuesday to stop a six-game slide, fell to 2-7 in the second of back-to-back games ... James was named the Eastern Conference's Player of the Month for December earlier in the day.