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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, December 11th (All times eastern)

Dallas Mavericks (15-7) at Miami Heat (11-9), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Southwest Division-leading Dallas Mavericks try to continue their mastery of the Miami Heat when the two clubs tangle Friday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Dallas has won 10 straight, 13 of 14 and 16 of the last 18 meetings with the Heat, who have lost five straight and eight of the last nine matchups versus the Mavs in south Florida. Miami's last win in this series was a 119-118 overtime triumph back on March 26, 2004.

The Mavericks ended a short two-game losing streak with a 102-101 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday in Dallas. Dirk Nowitzki pumped in 33 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Josh Howard contributed 20 points off the bench for Dallas, which has won five of its last eight games and got 15 points from top reserve Jason Terry.

"In the second half, we hit a spell there where he (Howard) was the only offense we had going," said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle. "He really kept us afloat. It shows you how important he is to our team and he just showed a lot of guts tonight too."

Dallas, which is 2 1/2 games ahead of Houston in the division standings, will put its 8-4 road mark on the line Friday.

Miami will commence a six-game homestand versus the Mavs, Memphis, Toronto, Orlando, Portland and Utah, and is 6-5 as the host this season. It just went 2-2 on a four-game road trip and ended a two-game skid with a 115-102 victory at Sacramento on Sunday.

Dwyane Wade sank 14-of-16 from the foul line en route to a 34-point performance and also dished out 10 assists for the Heat, who got 20 points apiece from Quentin Richardson and Michael Beasley.

"I'm learning, but I'm obviously playing with one of the greatest players in the world," Beasley said of Wade. "He's got a lot to teach. He teaches even when he doesn't want to. It's tough, but it's fun at the same time."

Miami's Dorell Wright chipped in 19 points and dished out five assists in the win.

Heat guard Daequan Cook (pink eye) is questionable for Friday, while center Jermaine O'Neal (personal) is listed as probable versus Dallas.

12/11 10:28:51 ET


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