Detroit Free Press
National Basketball Association
Preview
Dallas at Miami
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, February 28, 2020
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida

The Miami Heat look to knock off Dallas for the sixth consecutive time when they visit the Mavericks on Friday. The Heat have won 15 of the past 17 regular-season meetings, a stretch that follows Dallas' 14 consecutive victories from 2004-10.

Miami has been faltering of late with seven setbacks in the past nine games, including blowing a 12-point lead with under four minutes remaining in Wednesday's 129-126 home loss to the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves. "I just think this is our period of the season where there's some adversity," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters afterward. "It's a good thing when the thing we need to work on is what to do when we have double-digit leads. That shows we're capable of getting to that point. We just have to close out and finish." Dallas won four of its past five games and opened up a four-game road trip with a 109-103 victory over the San Antonio Spurs to improve to 20-9 away from home. "We're a young team that's continually growing and learning about each other, about playing in tough competitive situations," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle told reporters. "We're battling for playoff position and we're fighting to prepare ourselves for the playoffs."

TIME: 8 p.m. ET. TV: FS Southwest, FS Sun

ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (36-23): All-Star point guard Luka Doncic, who turns 21 on Friday, had 26 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds against the Spurs for his 21st career triple-double to tie the franchise mark set by Jason Kidd. Doncic tweaked his left thumb during the contest while posting his 13th triple-double of the season and power forward Kristaps Porzingis was superb with 28 points and 12 rebounds. "For us, we kind of have this confidence, especially at the end of games, on the road, where we're going to be able to score," Porzingis said afterward. "Towards the end of the game we also turned up the pressure defensively, and we were able to get stops. One of the important things we do is we stay calm. We don't overreact."

ABOUT THE HEAT (36-22): Miami is 23-4 at home and the collapse against Minnesota came on its own floor, which only furthered concern over where the team stands with 24 games remaining. "This is the time we need to win," reserve point guard Goran Dragic told reporters. "The playoffs are around the corner. It's just frustrating. Feels like we're not the same team that we were in the first half of the season." All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler returned from a two-game absence to score 18 points but his potential go-ahead layup was blocked with 3.2 seconds left.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Butler scored 27 points as the Heat posted a 122-118 road overtime victory on Dec. 14 in a contest in which Doncic left less than two minutes in due to an ankle injury.

2. Dallas SG Tim Hardaway Jr. is averaging 23.5 points over the past six games, including twice scoring 33 points.

3. Miami rookie SG Kendrick Nunn recorded 24 points and six assists on Wednesday and is averaging 23 points and six assists over the past three games.

PREDICTION: Heat 107, Mavericks 103
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Dallas 36-23 W2 16-14 19-9 4-2 32-21 8-2 21-14
Miami 36-22 L2 23-4 13-18 3-2 33-20 8-3 24-9
Last Meeting
Dallas Miami
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
12/14/19 MIA 122 DAL 118 118 48 44.6 122 49 42.9
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Dallas T. Hardaway Jr. 28 50.0 0
Miami J. Butler 27 36.4 10
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Dallas K. Porzingis 14 3 11
Miami B. Adebayo 11 2 9
Assists Player  
Dallas J. Brunson 8
Miami B. Adebayo 10
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Dallas L. Doncic 1432 46.1 348
Miami J. Butler 1024 45.7 375
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Dallas L. Doncic 487 69 418
Miami B. Adebayo 655 159 496
Assists Player  
Dallas L. Doncic 427
Miami J. Butler 314
Quickchart Matchup
Dallas Dallas Off vs  Miami Miami Defense
Dallas Off vs Miami - Points For 116.6 Points For
Dallas Off vs Miami - Points Against 109.3 Points Against
Dallas - FG% 46.2 FG%
Miami - FG% 44.8 FG%
Dallas - Reb 47.2 Reb
Miami - Reb 42.2 Reb
Miami Miami Off vs  Dallas Dallas Defense
Miami Off vs Dallas - Points For 112.5 Points For
Miami Off vs Dallas - Points Against 110.5 Points Against
Miami - FG% 47.0 FG%
Dallas - FG% 45.2 FG%
Miami - Reb 44.8 Reb
Dallas - Reb 45.3 Reb