MIAMI • Miami Heat centre Hassan Whiteside's mission is clear. "I'm just trying to get my All-Star ratings up," he said.
Mission accomplished - at least on Friday when he had 25 points and 19 rebounds to lead the Miami Heat past the Dallas Mavericks 106-82 in the National Basketball Association.
Whiteside, who made 12 of 16 shots from the floor, matched a career high in points and set a season high in rebounds.
"Contrary to belief," he said at the AmericanAirlines Arena, "I do have an offensive game." Indeed, he already had a double-double at half-time with 18 points and 13 boards.
"Hassan was a force in the paint," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "He was so aggressive. He's a tremendous pick-and-roll threat, particularly with (shooting guard) Dwyane (Wade) at the rim.
"With one foot in the paint, you throw it to (Whiteside), and he will score at a very high level."
Wade, who came off the bench for just the 10th time in his 13-year career, had 10 points and seven assists. He was slowed by the flu.
"During the walk-through, Dwyane was feeling nauseous and dizzy," Spoelstra said. "He got an IV (drip) and was able to come back."
Miami (19-13) got 19 points from reserve wing Gerald Green, 16 from forward Chris Bosh and 15 from point guard Goran Dragic.
Dallas (19-14), who never led, had their four-game win streak broken. The Mavericks were held without a fast-break point and shot just 36.4 per cent from the floor.
Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea, who averaged 22.3 points in his previous four games, was held in check in his return to his home town of Miami. He scored just six points.
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas' star forward, was held to 11 points, making just four of 14 shots from the floor. Guard Wesley Matthews led Dallas with 14 points.
"They played angrier than us," said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle. "Our shot-making was not there. We lost a little bit of our edge."
After three quarters, the Heat had stretched their lead to 80-61. Miami shot 57.9 per cent from the floor in the third quarter and 55 per cent in the fourth.
Whiteside played less than four minutes in the fourth quarter but by then, he had made his mark.
"Our defence wasn't great against him," Mavs point guard Deron Williams said. "He was able to get lay-up after lay-up. His rebounds hurt us. He made his presence known on both ends."