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Mavs Vs. Heat Score Update: Heat Stretch Lead To 21, Up 62-41 At Half

Be it because of their youth, continuity or desire to sour the Dallas Mavericks' first game at home since winning the 2011 NBA Championship, the Miami Heat dominated the Mavs in the first half of the teams' highly anticipated Christmas Day match up. The Heat opened the game with a 15-point first quarter lead, which they managed to extend to 21 at halftime, going into the locker room up 62-41.

To little surprise, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade starred for the Heat in the first half. James contributed 18 points, seven assists and three rebounds to pair with Wade's 14 points, five assists and five rebounds. The Heat also received a boost in the second quarter from James Jones, who was buried on the bench in last year's Finals, but dropped in three three-pointers in today's game.

The Mavs, meanwhile, continued to look rusty. After turning the ball over too many times in the first quarter, Dallas managed to hold on to the ball, but were still unable to hit shots or grab a rebound. The Heat outrebounded Dallas 28-13 in the first half, and held the Mavs to 29% shooting from the field. Dirk Nowitzki, who took two months off from basketball this offseason, looked especially out of sync, hitting only two of nine shots, though he did go 9-10 from the free throw line.

For the latest news and notes on the defending NBA champions, check out Mavs Moneyball, and for more on the Heat, head on over to Peninsula Is Mightier.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.