The Miami Heat took a small measure of revenge for losing last season's NBA finals series to Dallas by beating the Mavericks 105-94 on Christmas Day as the new campaign got off to its belated start.
After months of labor and legal disputes, the 2011-12 season finally began and Miami laid down a marker of its championship credentials.
LeBron James had 37 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in a game that was hardly ever as close as the final score might suggest.
The newly minted champs were down by 15 after one quarter, 21 at halftime, and 35 a few minutes into the second half. Miami scored at least 30 points in each of the first three quarters.
Dwyane Wade had 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists as the Heat cemented their status as the preseason favorite to win it all.