MIAMI (AP) — The streak-busters of the NBA hail from Dallas.
And for whatever reason, unless there's a championship at stake, the Miami Heat simply cannot beat the Mavericks.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 26 points, Jason Terry had all of his 19 in the final 11 minutes, and the Mavericks held LeBron James scoreless in the first half on the way to ending Miami's 12-game winning streak with a 98-96 victory on Monday night.
It was Dallas' 14th straight regular-season win over the Heat, and the Mavericks had been the most recent team to beat Miami this season, too. Dallas has snapped six opponent winning streaks of at least five games this season — including a pair of 12-gamers, against San Antonio on Nov. 26 and now Miami's.
"I don't make a huge deal out of the streak," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "We are just trying to play solid basketball and win as many games as we can."
Terry has spoken often about how losing to Miami in the 2006 NBA finals still upsets him.
So while shooting at the East end of the court — the one over which the Heat championship banner softly sways — he put on a fourth-quarter show.
His biggest blow was a 3-pointer with 1:25 left, putting Dallas up 89-85 after Nowitzki airballed a 3-pointer but Miami couldn't get the rebound. Miami got within 91-90 on a three-point play by James, but that was the last gasp.
"Jet finally showed up in the fourth," Nowitzki said. "That's what he does. He's our finisher. He's our closer. He got hot."
Miami was within one point four times in the final 6:27, but Dallas never relinquished the lead.
"Couple of crazy bounces ... and they capitalized," Heat forward Chris Bosh said. "That's how the night went for us."
Caron Butler scored 13 for Dallas, which won despite giving up a 17-0 run in the first half and a 13-0 run in the third quarter.
Dwyane Wade scored 22 points, while James and Bosh each scored 19 for Miami.