James leads Heat past Mavs
Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - LeBron James put the Heat on his back Tuesday and carried Miami to a 117-106 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
James erupted for a season-high 42 points on an efficient 16-of-23 shooting display and fueled a late 14-0 run that put the game away. The four-time league MVP added nine rebounds and six assists for good measure as the Heat improved to 4-1 on a road trip that ends Thursday against the Thunder.
"If we can continue to play at a high level defensively and continue to share the ball ... we will give ourselves a good chance to win," James said of Thursday's showdown.
Chris Bosh chipped in with 22 points, Chris Andersen contributed 18 off the bench and Dwyane Wade provided 13 points with seven assists.
The Mavs, who had won six of seven heading into the All-Star break, committed 16 turnovers and watched the Heat shoot 57.1 percent from the floor, negating their huge 50-28 rebounding advantage.
Dirk Nowitzki filled the box score with 22 points, nine boards and seven assists in defeat.
Vince Carter added 15 points for Dallas, as his four-point play with 7:47 remaining put the hosts ahead 95-92.
From there, the Mavs went over six minutes without a making field goal, missing nine consecutive shots and turning the ball over three times during the drought.
James did the damage at the other end.
He drained tying and go-ahead 3-pointers on consecutive possessions midway through the fourth, and dunks by him and Andersen stretched Miami's lead to 102-95.
Another slam by Andersen off a feed from James made it an 11-point game inside 3 1/2 minutes to go, and the Heat cruised from there.
"It was a game of runs, and they were able to get the last run and get the win," Mavs forward Shawn Marion said.
There were 13 lead changes and seven ties in the first half, and James' 19 points helped the Heat take a 60-54 lead into the break.
The teams traded big runs in the third quarter. Miami countered Dallas' 15-5 spurt midway through the frame with 10 consecutive points to retake the lead at 80-76, and the Mavs scored nine of the final 13 points to bring a slim 85-84 lead into the fourth.
This was James' highest scoring output since dropping 43 points against the Hawks on Mar. 18, 2011 ... Dallas pulled down 21 offensive rebounds ... Despite Dallas' rebounding prowess, the Heat owned a 56-34 advantage in points in the paint ... Miami has won six straight meetings after losing 14 in a row in this series.