Updated: December 25, 2011, 6:08 PM ET
LeBron James 11-19 FG | 15-19 FT | 10 REB | 6 AST | 37 PTS | +29
GRADEA

Handing out an "A" already? Fully deserved. James' third-quarter stretch was near perfection. An and-1 jumper, followed by a block on a Shawn Marion dunk attempt, followed by a spinning fadeaway off-the-glass shot, followed by a tip-pass to Dwyane Wade for an alley-oop in the midst of his own alley-oop. "It's not easy at all," LeBron said at halftime. "We're just flying around." He made it look easy.

Dwyane Wade 11-21 FG | 4-6 FT | 8 REB | 6 AST | 26 PTS | +12
GRADEA-

A classic Dwyane Wade performance. Wade filled up the box score, shot efficiently from the floor and even blocked the 7-foot Dirk Nowitzki on a jumper. He flashed his deadly Euro step and his repertoire appears to be in mid-season form. The double alley-oop flush in the third quarter was the stuff of video games. Only drawback was his lack of free throws.

Chris Bosh 2-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +20
GRADED

Are we sure he played in this game? It's almost unfair that Bosh was largely invisible in a blowout win; he couldn't find his shot and wasn't active on the boards. Although the Dallas native would have liked to play better, a game like this is precisely why he joined LeBron and D-Wade.

Norris Cole 3-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 AST | 0 REB | 7 PTS | - 12
GRADEB+

If you want to know how this kid's NBA debut was, consider that he was trending worldwide on Twitter within minutes of stepping on the court in Dallas. Cole delivered almost everything the Heat wanted: speed, scoring and aggressiveness. His floater high off the glass in the third quarter was Allen Iverson-esque. The assist-to-turnover ratio looks ugly after one game, but he'll only improve.

Dallas Mavericks
GRADED+

This one will hurt, but the Mavs can look at that new championship banner for a pick-me-up. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra hoped that Miami's new offense would be unpredictable, and it certainly looked like the Mavericks were completely underprepared for this one. Dallas showed its age in the opener, but at least it showed life in the fourth quarter, even without Lamar Odom.

Grades by Tom Haberstroh, ESPN.com

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

SPONSORED HEADLINES