GORAN Dragic took over in the second half and led a fourth quarter rally to help the Miami Heat snap the Dallas Mavericks three-game win streak with a thrilling 99-95 win at the American Airlines Arena on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).
Dragic poured 22 of his 32 points after the break and rallied Miami against a resilient Dallas team late.
Down 73-70 entering the fourth quarter, Miami got off to a 12-2 start to claw back from a nine-point third quarter deficit. But Dallas tied it at 82 midway through the period after a Wes Matthews triple, setting up the thrilling finish.
Back-to-back baskets by Dragic put the Heat ahead 90-85 into the last two minutes, and Tyler Johnson countered a Seth Curry jumper with a triple to put Miami on top by six, 93-87, with over a minute left.
After a pair of misses from Dirk Nowitzki and Deron Williams, Dragic came up with a big offensive board off a Hassan Whiteside miss and Johnson drilled a pair of free throws to extend the lead. But Seth Curry’s triple and two missed freebies by Dragic gave Dallas a glimmer of hope, especially after Nowitzki drew a foul on a three-point attempt.
The German forward made just 2-of-3 from the stripe, though, as Dallas still trailed by three, 95-92 with 18 ticks left. Johnson again sank his charities on the next play, but Nowitkzi answered with a triple to put the score at 97-95 with just six seconds remaining. Dragic then iced the win with a pair of free throws to cap the Heat’s comeback.
Miami improved to 13-30 with its second straight win. Johnson finished with 23 points off the bench, while Whiteside and Dion Waiters scored 13 and 12, respectively.
Nowitzki led Dallas, who fell to 14-28, with 19 points. Matthews added 18 markers, while Barnes and Curry scored 15 apiece.