Chris Bosh scored 17 points and Ray Allen added 15 for Miami, which extended its Eastern Conference-leading record to 22-8. The Heat trailed by 12 in the opening minutes, and then dug their way out of a six-point hole in the final 3:02 of regulation.
James had 12 rebounds and nine assists for the Heat, who wound up going on what became a 16-3 run late, including 7-0 to start overtime.
O.J. Mayo scored 30 and Dirk Nowitzki -- still working his way back from knee surgery
-- added 19 in 29 minutes for the Mavericks, who fell to 0-6 in overtime this season.
Vince Carter had 15 points, Chris Kaman scored 14 and Darren Collison finished with 11 for the Mavericks.
Allen hit a 3-pointer to start overtime, James scored on a stepback over Nowitzki and Wade came up with a steal and dunk to put Miami up 110-103 early in the extra session, and the Heat weren't in trouble again. James sealed it with a three-point play with 48.6 seconds left, pushing the Heat edge to 118-109.
Dallas looked to be in control when Nowitzki rattled home a 3-pointer with 3:37 left, putting the Mavericks up 100-94. But the Mavs scored only nine points the rest of the way.
Late in regulation, James set up Shane Battier -- who had missed all three of his previous shots in the game
-- for a 3 that put Miami up 103-101. Dallas didn't call time-out, and Nowitzki scored from the right side of the lane to tie the game with 3.9 seconds remaining.
James missed a contested jumper as time expired, and off to overtime they went. From there, all Miami.
James extended his streaks of scoring at least 20 points to 30 consecutive games this season, 35 regular-season games going back to last season and 51 straight games overall when including last season's playoff run.
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The teams met two weeks ago in Dallas, a game where the Heat simply dominated start to finish and led by as many as 36.
This one was decidedly different.
Dallas was up 18-7 before Nowitzki even entered the game and led by as many as 12 late in the first quarter
-- thanks in part to the Mavericks grabbing 19 of the game's first 27 rebounds
-- and still held a 10-point lead when Mayo connected on a jumper midway through the second quarter. That's when the Heat put together its best run of the opening half, a 16-6 spurt led by James.
Still tied midway through the third, Miami seemed to have grabbed some control with a 14-5 run that gave the Heat a 78-69 edge. But the Mavs ripped off the next eight points, starting with a 3-pointer by Carter and then a 3-pointer and a layup by Nowitzki that got Dallas within a point again.
Dallas reclaimed the lead at 88-87 on a 3-pointer by Mayo midway through the fourth, and only a few moments after Wade chased down and blocked a layup try by Collision to keep Miami within three, Mayo struck again from beyond the arc in the left corner by the Heat bench to put the Mavs up 97-91 with 4:09 remaining.
NOTES: It was trophy night for James, who was presented with his USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year award by Heat President Pat Riley in a brief halftime ceremony. And just before tipoff, the NBA announced James was the Eastern Conference's player of the month for December. ... It was the 21st time Nowitzki played at Miami, and just the second game where he came off the bench while visiting the Heat. He also didn't start in his first-ever game at Miami in 1999. ... An errant pass by James struck a courtside cameraman in the third quarter. The man was tended to briefly for what appeared to be a small cut, and James went over to shake the photographer's hand.
Press; By TIM REYNOLDS]
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