Miami Heat LeBron James
The Dallas Mavericks played as if they were collectively begging for Dirk Nowitzki to return to game action against the Miami Heat Thursday night.
They were completely dominated by the Heat in every phase of the game. Dallas trailed by as many as 36 points in the third quarter before closing out the period down 30.
The 24 points LeBron James had scored by then were more than Mavericks starters Chris Kaman, Shawn Marion and Darren Collison combined through three quarters. James earned himself a rest for the entire fourth quarter as a result and the Heat cruised to their third straight win.
Miami moves to 17-6 with the 110-95 win in Dallas. They are now only one game behind the New York Knicks for first place in the Eastern Conference.
The Mavericks, meanwhile, fall to 12-14 after losing their fourth home game of the season.
Dallas Mavericks Darren Collison
Mario Chalmers, PG, Heat: C-
Mario Chalmers had the least amount of impact on this win of any Miami Heat starter.
He dished out five assists but also turned it over three times. He only missed one shot but at the same time only attempted two.
Chalmers finished with the lowest plus/minus amongst the starters at plus-22 in 27 minutes of work. But while he didn't do anything to help Miami win, he also didn't do too much to hurt their chances either.
Darren Collison, PG, Mavericks: C
Darren Collison finished with 11 points and five assists in an overwhelmingly average performance on the night.
He shot 50 percent (4-of-8), only turned the ball over twice and (barely) outplayed Chalmers, but he never really made any sort of mark on the game.
Like the rest of his teammates, Collison started slow and padded his stats some down stretch.
It was enough to get him into double figure points for the second straight game, however, so maybe he can build on that moving forward.
Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade, SG, Heat: A
Dwyane Wade earned a rest down the stretch next to LeBron after finishing with a game-high plus-40.
He looked to have a bit more energy than we've seen from him a number of times this season and finished with one of his more well-rounded games of the year.
The 19 points, six assists and five rebounds Wade totaled on the night could have been higher had Erik Spoelstra needed more than 26 minutes from him.
O.J. Mayo, SG, Mavericks: D-
Coming into the game averaging over 20 points a contest, Mayo has turned in some impressive performances so far in a Dallas Mavericks uniform. Thursday night was not one of those performances.
Mayo was off as soon as the game began and things never improved. He didn't make a three-pointer all night, finishing 3-of-14 overall for only eight points.
It was a game Mayo will hope to soon forget.
Miami Heat's LeBron James
LeBron James, SF, Heat: A+
LeBron started the game 6-of-7 from the floor. He turned in a near-perfect performance and looked like the league's best player through three quarters.
The 24 points he finished with led all scorers and he only needed three quarters to get there. He dominated the defensive glass too, collecting all nine of his rebounds on that end of the floor.
Dahntay Jones, SG/SF, Mavericks: C
Jones only played for 16 minutes—not the type of burn you'd expect from a starter. Especially one that scored 12 points on a team full of players who underperformed all evening.
Still, we can only grade him on the time he was out there, in which time he did OK and finished with an average mark for the game as a result.
Miami Heat's Udonis Haslem
Udonis Haslem, PF, Heat: C
This was a top-heavy win led by James, Wade and Bosh.
Udonis Haslem finished in that second group just ahead of Mario Chalmers. He was a force on the defensive boards, helped Miami out-rebound Dallas, but only played 17 minutes.
He chipped in only five points but played solid defense early to help stop the Mavericks before they ever got a chance to get going.
Shawn Marion, SF/PF, Mavericks: D
Thursday night was one of those nights where Marion needed 14 shots to score 10 points. That's not ideal.
He never got going offensively and finished the game without an assist. He did grab nine rebounds, though, which prevented the failing grade.
With Dirk still out, the Mavericks need much more than they got versus Miami from Marion especially.
Dallas Mavericks Chris Kaman
Chris Bosh, C, Heat: A
The 35 minutes that Chris Bosh played were a game high. He stayed out on the floor to manage the mop-up duties down the stretch and finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. Behind Wade, Bosh had the second-highest plus/minus at plus-31.
After scoring 12 and 15 in his previous two games, respectively, Bosh's point total continued to rise closer to his season average.
Like the other two members of the Big Three, Bosh was also better than every other Mavs player out on the court in Dallas.
Chris Kaman, C, Mavericks: D-
Chris Kaman was a complete non-factor lined up opposite Bosh at center.
Coming into the game, Kaman had been averaging 14.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per night. Against the Heat, the seven-footer managed only eight points and two rebounds. He also ended with the game low of a minus-27 plus/minus.
Dallas Mavericks Vince Carter
Shane Battier, SF, Heat: B
Shane Battier provided a spark as soon as he stepped onto the floor. He scored eight points in the first half and finished with 13 on 4-of-9 shooting.
If Miami can get that type of play from Battier on a consistent basis, he instantly makes this reserve group more dangerous moving forward.
Vince Carter, SG, Mavericks: D
During the first 14 minutes Carter played, he didn't score one point. Eventually, after the game was well in hand, he collected 10 points over his last 11 minutes of work—not enough to erase the major hand he had in helping lose this game in embarrassing fashion.
Dallas Mavericks Jae Crowder
Miami Heat: C
After the games that James, Wade and Bosh turned in, it didn't really matter what the Heat reserves did.
Battier was solid and Ray Allen chipped in 10, but nothing else was particularly noteworthy from Miami's second unit.
In fact, only Mike Miller finished with a positive plus/minus for the Heat reserves. Much of that had to do with the fourth quarter, though, when the game was well out of reach.
Dallas Mavericks: B
The second unit accounted for the only energy the Dallas Mavericks had during the first half. They scored 20 points as a group during the first two quarters and finished with 46 on the night.
Rookie Jae Crowder went for a career-high 15 in the contest.
The Mavericks starters, meanwhile, only scored 49 points. No starter individually scored more than 12.