[February 04, 2014]DALLAS — All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki scored 23 points, leading the Dallas Mavericks to a routine
124-107 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night at American
Nowitzki failed to score at least 30 for the third consecutive
game, but it mattered little as Dallas had the game well in hand.
Guard Monta Ellis finished with 22 points after scoring a combined
33 in the previous three games.
Four other Mavericks scored in double figures, including two
reserves, guard Devin Harris (season-high 16 points) and forward
Brandan Wright (14). Center Samuel Dalembert scored 18 points and
guard Jose Calderon had his first double-double in a Dallas uniform
with 11 points and 10 assists.
"We got it done," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "I thought we did
a lot of good things. There's going to be some mistakes in any game.
The good thing was the first half we had eight turnovers, the second
half we only had five. Being able to sit Dirk for the last seven
minutes is a big deal. It really helps us."
The Mavericks (28-21) swept the season series from Cleveland for the
second season in a row, and they won for the 11th time in the last
13 meetings in Dallas.
Harris continues to provide a spark off the bench. He made two
baskets late in the third quarter to help Dallas take its largest
lead of the game to that point (91-76), forcing a timeout from
Cleveland coach Mike Brown.
"I'm trying to get comfortable out there," Harris said after his
eighth game of the season. "I'm trying to make the most of my
minutes. Offensively we're gifted, but we have to step things up
The Mavericks held a double-digit lead throughout the fourth quarter
despite an 8-0 run from Cleveland midway through the period. The
Cavaliers (16-32) lost for the seventh time in eight games.
All-Star guard Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 27 points and dished
out eight assists for Cleveland, which lost its fifth game in a row.
Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson added 17 points and eight
rebounds. Forward Luol Deng had 18 points for Cleveland, which was
"Offensively we did some nice things out there," Brown said. "I
thought we some great looks from the perimeter, especially early in
the game, that did not go in. The ball was moving fairly well, the
spacing was good. We had some
stretches where we couldn't score.
"Dallas took advantage of it and they got some easy buckets, whether
we turned it over or our floor balance was poor off of a missed
shot. Dallas got some easy looks in transition and resulted in easy
baskets for them."
The Mavericks were hot in the first half, shooting 51.1 percent and
taking as much as a 13-point lead. Nowitzki had 16 points at the
break, and Ellis added 13.
Dallas was up early before Irving started to heat up. The Eastern
Conference All-Star reserve nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to give
Cleveland an 18-16 lead in the first quarter.
Nowitzki scored 12 points in the second period, and his consecutive
3s pushed the Mavericks out to a 52-39 advantage. The Cavaliers
finished the half strong but still trailed 59-52 going into the
locker room, with Irving accounting for 13 points.
Dallas finished its four-game homestand 3-1, and it next plays
Wednesday at Memphis. The Mavericks hold a one-game lead on the
Grizzlies for eighth place in the Western Conference.
The Cavaliers look to end their skid Wednesday at home against the
Los Angeles Lakers.
"We need to keep pushing forward," Brown said. "Guys have got to
keep grinding. We've got to keep grinding until we get out of it.
The only thing we can do is work, keep our head up, and keep looking
forward. Try to learn from what we did tonight."
NOTES: Dallas F Shawn Marion (shoulder/rib contusion) missed his
second straight game. Second-year F Jae Crowder started in Marion's
place. ... Cleveland C Anderson Varejao returned to the lineup after
missing three games with a left knee contusion. He played with a
brace on his knee, and he scored 10 points in 25 minutes. ...
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is a fan of Cavaliers G Kyrie Irving.
"I don't know if I've ever seen a guy in 30 years in this league do
the things off the dribble that he can do, in terms of getting
places on the court," Carlisle said. "Just a ridiculous change of
direction, beyond crafty." ... Dallas rookie G Shane Larkin was
recalled after a one-game stint in the D-League.