- Elton Brand (right groin strain) and Brandan Wright (right ankle sprain) are not playing tonight, leaving the Mavericks thin at power forward. Head coach Rick Carlisle said rookie Bernard James, who hasn’t gotten off the bench in three of the last five games, would have to log significant minutes. James has averaged 3.3 points and 3.4 rebounds in 17 games.
- Dallas was already short-handed without starting point guard Derek Fisher (right knee strain), who will miss at least the next three games. Look for Darren Collison to return to the starting lineup in his absence.
- Carlisle said the Mavericks will miss Fisher’s defense the most. The same goes for Brand and Wright, which could mean a long night for Dallas. Miami (103.1) ranks fourth in the league in scoring and Dallas has the league’s fourth-worst scoring defense, allowing 101.5 points per game. The Mavericks have allowed fewer than 90 points only once.
- This is a rematch of the 2011 NBA Finals, won by Dallas in six games. Miami swept both regular-season meetings last year en route to winning the 2012 championship. The Heat haven’t won three in a row against the Mavericks since sweeping 16 straight from 1992-99.
- The Mavericks are 6-0 at home against Eastern Conference opponents.