Reaction: Dragic leads Heat past Mavericks

Jacari McRae | March 29th, 2019

Here are my four takeaways from the Heat’s 105-99 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

Back to 8th

With Thursday’s victory and the Orlando Magic‘s loss to the Detroit Pistons, the Heat moved back in the eighth and final playoff spot. Miami leads Orlando by a half-game with just seven games remaining for the Heat and six for the Magic. They’re also a half-game behind the Brooklyn Nets for seventh and a game behind the sixth-seeded Detroit Pistons.

7-Eleven re-opened

With both Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow on the sidelines, Goran Dragic returned to the starting lineup, leaving the Heat with the starting backcourt of Dion Waiters and Dragic that was successful in 2016-17. And they didn’t disappoint.

Dion kept the Heat afloat in the third period, scoring 15 of his 17 points in the quarter. Goran Dragic then took over in the fourth quarter, scoring nine of his 23 points in the period. The Heat’s starting point guard finished with his first triple-double of the season.

Heat defense on Luka Doncic

Yes, Luka Doncic still closed with 19 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, but he wasn’t efficient overall. Doncic shot just 6-of-18 from the field and 3-of-9 from three, often settling for a few of his step-back threes. The Heat often trapped him on the pick-and-roll and it proved to be effective.

With Derrick Jones Jr defending him, The Mavericks rookie star turned the ball over six times. The Heat were determined to get the ball out of Luka’s hands, and it worked.

Wade and Dirk’s final duel

With Dwyane Wade retiring after the season, Thursday’s game was the last matchup between him and Dirk Nowitzki. The two future hall of famers entered the game 11-11 head to head during the regular season and 6-6 head to head during the playoffs. With the win on Thursday, Wade will walk away with an 18-17 lead in 35 matchups against Nowitzki.

Wade finished with 11 points and four steals off the bench, while Nowitzki scored 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting.

Up next: Heat at Knicks on Saturday. Game tips off at 7:30pm ET.

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