Miami Heat defeat Mavericks behind Wayne Ellington’s 28 points

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 22: Wayne Ellington
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 22: Wayne Ellington /

Wayne Ellington got hot last night, as the Miami Heat defeated the Dallas Mavericks.

The past week hasn’t been too kind to the Miami Heat, particularly in terms of injuries.

Taking on the Dallas Mavericks at home on Friday, Miami would once again find itself without some of its core pieces: Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, James Johnson, Justise Winslow,

Behind 28 points (8-for-12 from 3-point range) off the bench from Wayne Ellington, the Heat were able to overcome the Mavericks, 113-101.

Josh Richardson scored 24 points, Tyler Johnson added 19 and rookie Bam Adebayo tallied 14 points and eight rebounds as Miami shot 64 percent from the floor overall, the second-highest mark in franchise history.

Yogi Ferrell led Dallas with 23 points off the bench, as both teams combined to hit 33 3-pointers.

From the start, the Heat were locked in on the offensive end, opening the first half on a 12-0 run, bolstered by Ellington’s strong play.

"“He behaves like a champion before he’s a champion,” head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I love it…it’s beauty in motion.”"

Johnson’s nine first quarter points were a team-high, as Miami held a nine point advantage after one, but would be without Dion Waiters for the remainder of the game after turning his left ankle. Dallas would pull within six with 6:11 left in the half, and eventually got within 48-44 less than a minute later.

Spurred by a strong quarter from Harrison Barnes, the Mavericks evened the score at 51 with under two minutes remaining, and the two teams would head into the intermission with the score tied at 53.

The Heat would follow that with a dominant third period, outscoring Dallas 29-20 during that span spurred by another 12-0 run to begin the second half. Despite a slim 31-28 margin separating the two teams during the fourth, Miami’s early spurts proved key in maintaining the lead late as Dallas attempted to rally late.

Ellington’s 12 fourth quarter points ultimately sealed the deal, and the story for the Heat was the consistency offensively. They went 16-for-25 from beyond-the-arc, Richardson made 11-of-14 shots, Ellington connected on 10-of-16.

"“We were going to have to step up collectively,” Ellington said. “Everybody’s play was going to have to elevate and I definitely took it upon myself as well to elevate my game.”"

As the season now nears its midpoint, the Heat will look to keep pace with other Eastern Conference foes. Until then, the key word is patience, and that potential has been put on display time and time again.

Miami has now won four of its last five games and currently sit two games above .500.

Their next test is Saturday, when the Heat host the New Orleans Pelicans.

Next: Miami Heat: A look ahead at two challenges before Christmas break

Tipoff is scheduled for 8 PM ET.