James to Mavs: Paybacks Are a LeBron

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) drives down the court.

    The Mavs outrebounded the Heat by 22. The Mavs made 10 more free throws than the Heat. The Mavs, for most of the game last night at American Airlines Center, took it to the Heat.

    Alas, because of LeBron James, the Mavs had no chance against the Heat.

    Vince Carter’s four-point play gave Dallas a three-point lead with 7:47 remaining. Dreaming just a little bit, you could envision the Mavs producing back-to-back wins over the two best teams in the Eastern Conference and making a strong playoff push and …

    Then LeBron checked back in.

    While the Mavs fueled his fire with seven straight missed shots and three ugly turnovers, the best player in the game simply took over. A steal and a 3-pointer. Another 3-pointer in transition off another turnover. And a fast-break dunk where Monta Ellis was so helpless on defense he didn’t even bother to jump or foul or do anything other than spectate.

    In the end the Heat won by 11. And LeBron continued to exact his revenge.

    We all remember June 2011. Dirk's determination. Kidd's calm. Jason Terry's clutch. The Mavs beat the Heat in Game 6 in Miami and ... haven't beaten them since.

    Looking back, that series woke up LeBron James. Instead of passive distributor, he now attacks. And when he's aggressive, no one on this planet can physically guard him. He threw down 42 points last night in front of Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Pamela Anderson and a frenzied sellout. In two games vs. Dallas this year LeBron scored 81 points and he's 6-0 against the Mavs since '11, averaging 32.

    Keep the highlights of the 2011 Finals handy. Because this year's Mavs - though playoff-caliber - aren't in Miami's category. Or LeBron’s galaxy.

    A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.