Preview: Heat try to extend Mavericks' woes with visit to Dallas -

Preview: Heat try to extend Mavericks' woes with visit to Dallas –

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The latest downturn for the Dallas Mavericks has followed an all-too-familiar script.

Losers of three in a row and six of the last seven, the Mavericks battled to the end before falling two points short Saturday at the Denver Nuggets.

“I liked a lot of what I saw in the game,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said of the 91-89 loss. “Our guys competed the whole way, got off to a tough start, hung in and kept battling. You know, the same thing we’ve been doing all year long.”

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The Mavs (16-34) play their last home game at American Airlines Center for nearly two weeks with the Miami Heat (28-21) coming to town Monday night. Miami is looking for a season sweep after beating Dallas 113-101 at home on Dec. 22.

The Heat snapped a two-game skid with Saturday’s 95-91 comeback win over the Charlotte Hornets. Miami rallied from 15 points down in the second half by holding the Hornets to 13 points in the fourth quarter.

“That’s the type of team we have to be,” Wayne Ellington said. “We have to be able to lock in on the defensive end of the floor.”

Ellington sealed the win, and his 17-point night, with a 3-pointer with 4 seconds left. Josh Richardson led the way for Miami with 19 points. Kelly Olynyk added 16 points.

Miami had coughed up a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter at home against Sacramento in its previous game. That loss was top of mind going against Charlotte.

“The great thing about this league if you have opportunities to learn,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We

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