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Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Apr 10, 2024 8:36 am

Heat take Luka Doncic Test in visit from streaking Mavericks

Miami Heat

The Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat are locks to play past the end of the regular season on Sunday.

Dallas (49-30) is in fifth place in the Western Conference. The Mavericks appear likely to avoid the play-in round, which is for teams in spots seven through 10 in the standings.

Miami (44-35) is eighth in the Eastern Conference, and it looks like the Heat again are destined to compete in the play-in round.

Dallas will visit Miami on Wednesday night.

Both teams won on Tuesday. The Heat needed double overtime to beat the host Atlanta Hawks, 117-111. Dallas went to Charlotte and breezed to a 130-104 victory.

Heat guard Tyler Herro, playing just his third game since returning from injury, scored 33 points on Tuesday. He made 13 of 25 shots from the floor.

“My teammates trusted me with the ball,” said Herro, who sank 4-of-13 attempts from 3-point range. “I need their support. (Teammates) Bam (Adebayo), Jimmy (Butler) and the rest of the guys allowed me to be myself.”

If Herro — who missed 20 games due to a foot injury — can provide 20-plus-points per contest down the stretch, the Heat could be in position to warm up at just the right time.

Butler, who had 25 points, nine assists and eight rebounds on Tuesday, had high praise for Herro.

“He’s a winner,” Butler said. “He’s always willing to do whatever it takes to win.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has injury concerns as Terry Rozier (neck) and Duncan Robinson (back) missed the Hawks game. That duo combines to average 29.3 points per game this season.

Dallas, meanwhile, features the NBA’s scoring leader: Luka Doncic (33.9).

Doncic on Tuesday set a Mavericks single-season scoring record with 2,341 points, surpassing Mark Aguirre, who had 2,330 in 1983-84.

“It means a lot,” Doncic said. “This is the franchise that drafted me and gave me a set of the keys. I’m just glad I’m here.”

Doncic on Tuesday also posted his 21st triple-double of the season, recording 39 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

He also tied James Harden for eighth place in NBA history with 77 career triple-doubles.

“It’s incredible what Luka has done,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. “He’s going to rewrite the record book for the Mavericks and also for the NBA.

“For him to pass Mark Aguirre is incredible. Mark is a legend. It shows what Luka has done.”

Aside from Doncic, Mavericks point guard Kyrie Irving collect 18 points, nine assists and eight rebounds on Tuesday.

The Mavericks, who have won 15 of their past 17 games, started this week with a thrilling 147-136 overtime win at home versus the Houston Rockets on Sunday.

Dallas trailed that game by as many as 22 points. However, Doncic had 37 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds in 45 minutes and Irving erupted for 48 points in 45 minutes.

“I’m depleted,” Irving said after that game.

Doncic had a similar thought after Tuesday’s win.

“We sure need some rest,” Doncic said. “But we’re playing some of our best basketball of the season on the defensive end right now. That’s the key for us.”

–Field Level Media

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