The Miami Heat got off to a good—but certainly not great—start in the new year, knocking off the visiting Dallas Mavericks 119-109 in overtime Wednesday night. Coming off of a couple of losses and a very dicey win over the Orlando Magic, the Heat were in need of a pushover opponent.
The Mavs, losers of nine of their previous 11 coming in, certainly looked like an easy mark on paper. But the Heat needed a huge effort from LeBron James and a couple of big shots from Shane Battier to escape with the win.
Miami continued to struggle on the glass, despite matching up with the NBA's worst rebounding team. The Heat lost the battle on the boards, 47-46.
The other key area of concern for the Heat of late had been the lack of production from players not named LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh. The Heat bench turned in another underwhelming effort, so that issue remains unresolved.
James put in another stat-stuffing performance, and the Heat needed every one of his 32 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists.
A win's a win, no matter how ugly or how soft the opponent is. But the big issues that have plagued the Heat during a shaky finish in 2012 are still around in 2013. On to the grades.