By Tim Reynolds
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
MIAMI _ With 17 games to play in 31 days and two brutal road trips awaiting, the Miami Heat know January will be far from easy.
At least it’s off to a flying start.
Hassan Whiteside had 25 points and 19 rebounds, Gerald Green added 19 points off the bench and the Heat rolled past the Dallas Mavericks 106-82 on Friday night to snap a two-game slide.
“You want to be tested,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “You want to be measured in this league. You want to be pushed to adversity. … But I don’t want these guys thinking about 16 more games right now.”
Chris Bosh scored 16 points and Goran Dragic had 15 points and seven assists for the Heat. Miami adjusted its starting lineup shortly before tip-off when Dwyane Wade was stricken by flu-like symptoms. Wade got some intravenous fluids and checked in early in the second quarter, just his 10th time playing off the bench in his 13-year career. He finished with 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
Whiteside made 12 of 16 shots, and the Heat enjoyed their biggest victory margin of the season.
“I’m just trying to get my All-Star ratings up,” Whiteside said.
Dallas had just 10 points in the first quarter _ its low for any period this season _ and shot just 36 per cent for the game, compared to 56 per cent for Miami. The Heat have just four home games left in January, two of those in the next five days, and have separate five- and six-game trips this month.
“The bottom line with this tonight is they played an angrier game,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “The combination of that, and our shot-making was just not there all night, we just lost a little bit of our edge.”
Zaza Pachulia led the Mavericks with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Wesley Matthews made four 3-pointers for his 12 points, and Dirk Nowitzki added 11 points for Dallas _ which was playing for the first time since topping Golden State on Wednesday.
Dallas’ four-game winning streak was snapped.
“Just not a good night overall, on both ends of the floor,” Nowitzki said. “But we kept fighting. Every time we got a little momentum, we either made a big mistake on the other end or they made a big shot.”
Mavericks: PG Deron Williams (left hamstring) returned after a four-game absence, playing 20 minutes off the bench and finishing with nine points and five assists. … Dallas lost G Devin Harris to back spasms in the first half. He played only 2 minutes, 22 seconds. … Chandler Parsons was 2 for 8 from the field, missing all three of his 3-point tries.
Heat: Miami is now 6-0 all-time on New Year’s Day, winning by a staggering average of 25.7 points. … Whiteside had 18 points and 13 rebounds at halftime, the seventh time he’s had a double-double in a single half. … Miami is now 8-1 against Dallas since losing the 2011 NBA Finals to the Mavs. … The Heat were again without Justise Winslow (ankle), who tried to get loose pregame but couldn’t play.
This was the 45th time that Nowitzki played against the Heat in his career. His 4-for-14 shooting matched his fourth-worst showing from the field against Miami and was his second-worst shooting night of the season. The only one worse was the 3 for 15 he put up against Milwaukee on Monday.
Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton _ the two-time defending series champion and a three-time champion overall _ was courtside, sitting near the Heat bench. He was presented with a Heat jersey bearing the No. 44, also the number of his race car.
Miami and the Los Angeles Lakers were the only teams to have home games on both Christmas and New Year’s Day this season. Chicago also played on both holidays, spending Christmas on the road and New Year’s at home. This was the fifth season that the Heat played on both holidays, the others being 2004-05, 2005-06, 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Mavericks: Host New Orleans on Saturday night.
Heat: Visit Washington on Sunday night.