DALLAS - Seems that even with Dwyane Wade's new help in Miami, the Heat still can't beat the Dallas Mavericks during the regular season.
After losing for the fourth time in five games, 106-95 on Saturday night, the Heat (9-8) had a players-only meeting. That comes a month into the season that LeBron James and Dallas-born Chris Bosh joined Wade in Miami.
“We felt like we needed it. Sometimes it’s a feel. We haven’t had a team-only meeting. We’re playing like 9-8 and we needed it,” Wade said. “This is a new team, a new group of guys. Guys need to understand each other and hear each other talk. We all feel better after the talk we had. “
At the same point a year ago, Miami was 10-7.
“It’s tough because I know the potential of this team, the vision I had when this team was put together,” Wade said.
Caron Butler scored seven of his 23 points in that third quarter spurt for the Mavericks, who haven’t lost a regular-season game against Miami in 61/2 years.
James and Wade finally appeared in the interview room about 45 minutes after the game. Neither would get into specifics of what was said in the closed locker room.
“It was a well-needed team meeting where everybody had a chance to get off whatever they had on their chest or in their head about us figuring things out,” James said. “Right now we are a 9-8 team and we have to own up to that. Does our record speak of the quality of team we can become? I don’t think so. But right now we’re 9-8 and we’re playing like that.”
Dallas has won 13 consecutive games over Miami since March 2004, and 16 of 17. That doesn’t include the 2006 NBA Finals, when the Heat won in six games after losing the first two.
While Miami missed its first 10 shots after halftime, Dallas scored 13 consecutive points and led 64-49 when Butler hit a 3-pointer with 7:55 left in the third quarter. That came only 30 seconds after Butler’s layup on an assist from Jason Kidd.
Dallas played for the fourth time in five nights, having ended significant winning streaks by its last two opponents. After ending Oklahoma City’s five-game winning streak Wednesday, the Mavericks ended San Antonio’s 12-game streak Friday night.
“This was a big week for us,” Kidd said. “It’s a big four wins, especially on back-to-backs. ... We’ve been telling (Butler) to just catch and shoot and take that first one, and then go into your tricks and the game will be a lot easier for him. Tonight, we went to him and he delivered.”