Game 49: Mavs vs. Cavaliers

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Mavericks vs. Cavaliers

Samuel Dalembert contributed 18 points and eight rebounds and Jose Calderon got his first double-double of the season as the Mavs cruised past the Cavs Monday night.

DALLAS — Despite the Cleveland Cavaliers’ four-game losing streak entering Monday’s matchup, the Dallas Mavericks knew they could not afford to get caught looking ahead on the schedule.

Attempting to replicate a 102-97 road win back on Jan. 20, the Mavericks also hoped to conclude their homestand with a 3-1 mark. However, after seeing the Cavaliers come back from a 24-point deficit in the first meeting, the Mavs acknowledged that they had to play for a full 48 minutes in order to capture a win on their home hardwood prior to playing seven of the next nine on the road.

Taking the court without versatile forward Shawn Marion (sore right shoulder) for the second straight game, the Mavs would rely on a balanced performance. The Mavericks (28-21) then ensured that they didn’t get caught overlooking the Cavaliers (16-32) once again, sprinting to a dominant 124-107 win before beginning their road-heavy stretch.

“Right now, with Marion out, we are scrambling around with different lineups and there is a lot of different-looking stuff out there,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle confessed. “It’s all about finding a way to make it work, and our guys did tonight.”

Once again without the services of Marion, the Mavs tried to improve on a 6-1 mark with second-year standout Jae Crowder in the starting lineup. However, with two quick fouls on Crowder, Carlisle was forced to turn to seldom-used swingman Wayne Ellington in the early stage of the opening quarter. The Mavs then received a lift from center Samuel Dalembert’s play in the painted area.

But, after committing just four turnovers in Friday’s 107-103 win over Sacramento, the Mavericks surrendered five giveaways in the first 12 minutes of play and held just a 27-25 edge at the end of one.

Leaning on the scoring duo of 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki and starting 2-guard Monta Ellis, the Mavs tried to create a separation on the scoreboard early in the second stanza. Reserved guard Devin Harris lent some assistance off the bench. Nowitzki picked up the slack from there, draining back-to-back triples from behind the arc to give the Mavs a 52-39 advantage while forcing a Cleveland timeout with 4:13 left in the half.

Nowitzki and Ellis then combined to score 29 points to take the Mavericks into the locker room with a 59-52 lead at the halftime intermission.

Led by Nowitzki’s 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting, the Mavericks outshot the Cavaliers through two quarters, 53.5 percent to 42.9 percent, adding a 22-16 rebounding edge. The Mavs also overcame their eight first-half turnovers by connecting on six of their nine attempts from beyond the 3-point line.

Exchanging scores with Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, Nowitzki would continue to keep Cleveland at bay as the third quarter got underway. But Irving would lead the Cavaliers to within two in the period, before Dalembert restored order to boost the margin back to double digits.

“He’s proven that he can take us to a higher level, and tonight he did,” Carlisle said of Dalembert’s impact. “Down the stretch, he was a presence at both ends.”

And with Harris and first-string point guard Jose Calderon catching fire from long range, the Mavs took a 94-79 advantage into the final period.

With six Dallas scorers already in double figures through three quarters, the Mavericks continued to share the wealth in the fourth period. The Cavaliers countered with an 8-0 run, however, staying within an arm’s reach after the Mavs went up by 19.

With Nowitzki resting on the bench for the final 6:53, an empathic alley-oop connection from Ellis to Dalembert would quickly follow. Dalembert’s block on the defensive end then led to Calderon’s lengthy outlet pass, converting into a three-point play by Ellis down the court.

Ellis closed the Cavaliers out from there, finishing off a three-point play over Tristan Thompson with 3:01 on the clock to go up 119-102.

Playing less than 30 minutes and finishing with 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting, Nowitzki led six Mavericks in double figures while also pulling down eight rebounds.

“It’s like a gift,” Nowitzki joked after watching his teammates close out the game. “It really is. I mean, obviously, the longer you sit over there, the more stiff I get. That was awesome. Every time that happens I get very excited. The guys did a good job of closing it out.”

Ellis added 22 points and dished out seven assists, while Dalembert scored 18 points, grabbed down eight rebounds and rejected two shots inside. Harris scored a season-high 16 points off the bench and Wright pitched in 14 points and seven rebounds in a reserve role. Meanwhile, Calderon recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists.

“I think it was good for us,” Calderon concluded. “We just had to be patient and be solid, and we did it for almost the whole game.”

“The ball was moving, bodies were moving and guys were taking advantage of their opportunities,” Harris added.

Irving led seven Cavaliers in double figures with 27 points on 8-of-18 shooting, dishing out eight assists to boot. But Dallas’ 55 percent shooting bettered Cleveland’s 46.3 percent, adding a 45-31 rebounding advantage. The Mavs also overcome the Cavaliers’ 19 points off Dallas’ 13 turnovers, forcing Cleveland into 10 giveaways at the other end of the court.

“We’ve just got to stay the course,” Ellis explained. “We know night in and night out it’s going to be a dogfight. We’ve just got to continue to play our game and make plays down the stretch when we need them.”

Note: The Mavericks return to action Wednesday night in Memphis, taking on the Southwest Division rival Grizzlies. Dallas leads the season series 2-0. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Friday against the Utah Jazz. Dallas leads the season series 1-0 after a 103-93 home victory back on Nov. 22. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting


All Stats

L. Deng, F 42 8-16 0-4 2-5 4 4 8 3 4 0 2 3 -14 18
T. Thompson, F 38 5-10 0-0 7-8 3 5 8 1 0 2 0 4 -18 17
A. Varejao, C 24 3-8 0-0 4-4 2 3 5 0 3 0 0 1 -4 10
J. Jack, G 39 5-7 1-2 1-2 0 3 3 8 0 0 3 3 -12 12
K. Irving, G 39 8-18 4-9 7-8 0 3 3 8 0 1 3 2 -19 27
A. Bennett 26 3-8 1-2 4-4 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 6 -15 11
D. Waiters 10 0-4 0-2 0-2 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 2 -7 0
T. Zeller 3 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 1 1 2
C. Miles 12 4-7 2-5 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 -1 10
H. Sims 0 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
M. Dellavedova 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
E. Clark 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
C. Felix 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
A. Gee 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Karasev 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   37-80 8-24 25-33 10 21 31 21 9 4 9 24   107
    46.3% 33.3%                      

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All Stats

J. Crowder, F 21 3-9 0-4 2-2 1 2 3 1 0 0 0 3 9 8
D. Nowitzki, F 29 9-16 3-5 2-2 0 8 8 2 0 0 2 2 -3 23
S. Dalembert, C 24 7-8 0-0 4-4 4 4 8 0 0 2 0 2 10 18
M. Ellis, G 33 8-12 2-3 4-5 0 2 2 7 2 1 6 5 10 22
J. Calderon, G 32 4-7 3-5 0-0 0 2 2 10 0 0 1 0 19 11
W. Ellington 19 1-5 1-2 0-0 0 3 3 2 1 0 1 1 -4 3
V. Carter 22 3-6 1-4 0-0 0 7 7 2 0 2 0 4 26 7
B. Wright 22 4-7 0-0 6-7 4 3 7 0 1 0 1 1 13 14
D. Blair 9 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 3 4 1 0 0 1 3 5 2
D. Harris 19 4-8 2-3 6-6 0 1 1 4 0 0 1 1 6 16
S. Larkin 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 -4 0
B. James 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -2 0
R. Ledo 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Marion 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
G. Mekel 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   44-80 12-26 24-26 10 35 45 30 4 5 13 23   124
    55.0% 46.2%                      

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Postgame: Dirk Nowitzki

Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki comments on Samuel Dalembert's contribution against the Cavs Monday night and says Wednesday's game against the Grizzlies will have a playoff-type atmosphere.


Wright Over Waiters

Jose Calderon fires it inside to Brandan Wright who throws it down over Dion Waiters.


Oop to Dalembert

Monta Ellis zips in the paint and lobs it to Samuel Dalembert for the big-time slam.


Ellis Doing Work

Monta Ellis takes the steal and goes in for the smooth layup.


Dirk finds Dalembert

The Mavericks move the ball around and Dirk Nowitzki drops it off to Samuel Dalembert for the slam over the defense.


Shootaround: Vince Carter

Mavs G-F Vince Carter weighs in on Dirk's All-Star selection, how the team is focusing on the defensive end, Jae Crowder's performance while Shawn Marion has been hurt and more.


Shootaround: Rick Carlisle

Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle talks about how important these next six games are going into the All-Star break, updates Shawn Marion's status and more.


Practice Report: Shawn Marion

Mavs F Shawn Marion says he has been receiving medication for his sore shoulder and is iffy for Monday night's game against the Cavs.

DALLAS — After jumping out to a 24-point lead only to see their opponent charge back within two the last time they saw the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Dallas Mavericks don’t expect to have a letdown Monday night.

Jumping out to the big lead before eventually outlasting the Cavaliers (16-31) down the stretch en route to a 102-97 road win back on Jan. 20, the Mavericks (27-21) now know they’ll have to compete for a full 48 minutes. And despite Cleveland’s current four-game losing streak, the Mavs know they’ll have their hands full the second time around as they try to conclude their four-game homestand on a high note.

“I think we did what we wanted to do and accomplished what we wanted to coming out, and we hit first. … In the second half, they came out like gangbusters and they really hit us in the mouth,” sixth man Vince Carter explained following his team’s Monday morning walkthrough. “I mean, I think we did a great job of just showing that we can take the punches and finish off the game. But, when you have a team like that down big on the road, we have to close the game out. We know that.”

“We shouldn’t have any letdowns against anybody,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle added. “You know, our games have all been hard, and they’re going to continue to be hard. It’s becoming more and more of a league of parody. Everybody is spending the same amount on players, so we’re getting a lot of close games. Watching Cleveland play two nights ago against Houston, they had a fighting disposition about them. They were into it, they were battling all night, and I expect that’s what they’re going to do. We’re going to have to do it better.”

Learning a listen from the previous matchup against Cavaliers, the Mavericks will attempt to compete for four quarters Monday night. However, they might have to do so once again without their leading rebounder and top perimeter defender, possibly taking the court for the second straight game minus versatile forward Shawn Marion as he continues to battle a sore right shoulder.

Meanwhile, the Mavs will try to overmatch the Cavaliers’ level of competitiveness, looking to conclude their homestand with a 3-1 mark before returning to the road for seven of the next nine games.

Note: The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center on Monday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, concluding a four-game homestand. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 102-97 road victory back on Jan. 20. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting

DALLAS — Although it wasn’t as easy as it appeared it would be, the Dallas Mavericks were able to successfully sneak off the Cleveland Cavaliers’ home floor with a hard-fought 102-97 victory back on Jan. 20.

Leading by as many as 24, the Mavericks (27-21) seemed to be sprinting to a rout. However, after the Cavaliers (16-31) charged back within two late in the fourth quarter behind Kyrie Irving’s game-high 26 points, the Mavericks found themselves in a dogfight before outlasting the Cleveland team down the stretch.

The Mavs now hope to learn from that previous meeting, hosting the Cavaliers Monday to conclude a four-game homestand.

“We knew it was going to be a dogfight, but we stuck to the course, took the punches as they were throwing them and were able to come out with the win,” starting 2-guard Monta Ellis said of the victory after leading the way with 22 points. “We kept our composure, continued to run our plays, executed down the stretch and got stops at the other end.”

“Rebounding was a big problem in the second half, so we’ve got to do better there,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle confessed when looking back to the first meeting. “It’s a team of young guys that are aggressive and attack. … And Irving is as good a player I’ve seen in this league maybe ever with the ball. Just what he can do off the dribble is phenomenal.”  

With an attacking Irving leading the Cavaliers, the Mavs hope to continue to rely on their own superstar at the other end of the floor, as 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki tries to continue his recent assault on opposing defenses.

Including his 34 points to help the Mavericks overcome a 14-point deficit Friday to rally for a 107-103 victory over Sacramento, Nowitzki has celebrated his 12th All-Star selection in style. Averaging 33.3 points per game during the first three outings of the team’s homestand, Nowitzki has been the Mavs’ lead catalyst. He’ll now try to make up for lost time against the Cavaliers, averaging just 16.5 points in his last four contests versus Cleveland.

“I’ve been in a nice groove. Before the last three, I didn’t really have a good groove,” Nowitzki admitted.

He added: “I wasn’t really in a good groove on the East Coast. We had too many games, so I felt a little sluggish. You know, we’ve had some days off here. … I feel good, and hopefully it’s going to keep going. I mean, obviously, the way we’ve been playing, we’re going to need every single point.”

Dirk Nowitzki has shot 6,371-of-7,252 (.879) from the line for his career and ranks 12th all-time in free throws made. He needs five free throws to pass Allen Iverson (6,375) for 11th place on the NBA’s all-time free throws made list. Brooklyn’s Paul Pierce ranks 10th all-time in career made free throws with 6,579.

Shawn Marion ranks 19th all-time in career steals with 1,693. He needs seven thefts to become the 19th player in NBA history with at least 1,700 steals. Ron Harper ranks 18th with 1,716. Marion has 1,194 career blocks and needs six rejections to become the 52nd player in NBA history with at least 1,200 blocks.

Monta Ellis has 10,968 points and needs 32 points for 11,000 in his career.

Vince Carter is currently tied with Hubert Davis (306) for ninth place on the Mavericks’ all-time 3-point field goals made list. He needs one triple to take sole of possession of ninth place. Josh Howard ranks eighth in Mavericks history with 318 treys.