Updated: December 21, 2012, 12:52 AM ET
LeBron James 9-13 FG | 3-4 FT | 9 REB | 5 AST | 24 PTS | +25

In a rematch of the 2011 Finals, LeBron James opened the game with a spread of smooth jumpers and highlight-reel conversions at the rim. The 90-foot pass from Dwyane Wade almost touched the rafters, but James reeled it in for the lay-in. You'll see that one again and again this weekend. James continues to make the June 2011 version of himself a distant memory.

Dwyane Wade 7-13 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 19 PTS | +40

Just waiting for Wade-to-Jets trade rumors after he completed a 90-foot bomb to LeBron in the first quarter. When he wasn't quarterbacking the Heat offense, Wade worked from the post, something we've seen more and more these days. He's been on a tear since the loss to the Knicks, and Thursday might have been his most active outing yet. He was everywhere.

Chris Bosh 8-14 FG | 1-1 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 17 PTS | +31

Hey, a defensive rebound! After getting shut out on the defensive glass on Tuesday, Bosh redeemed himself in a big way on Thursday. He shook off an elbow to the ribcage from Shawn Marion and played big against Chris Kaman. The Heat just dissected the Mavericks with precision on both ends of the floor, and Bosh was a big part of that.


The Heat's identity crisis is all but over. After ranking 23rd on defense just two weeks ago, the Heat have clamped down and wreaked havoc on that end of the floor for the third game in a row. The Mavericks searched for easy shots and came up empty all evening. At this pace, the Heat might crack the top 10 in defensive efficiency by January.

Dallas Mavericks

O.J. Mayo, meet regression to the mean. Shawn Marion was the only holdover from the 2011 champs who played in this one, and it showed. Though Dirk Nowitzki practiced on Wednesday, they kept him on the shelf for Thursday's match and they looked utterly lost without him. They needed Mayo to have a big scoring night, but the Heat beat him to a pulp with defense.

Grades by Tom Haberstroh


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