1. ONE WORD — DIRK: Needing 18 points to pass Wilt Chamberlain and become the No. 6 all-time leading scorer in NBA history going into Saturday’s game, Dirk Nowitzki inched ever so close to that high-water mark against the Cavs. Nowitzki finished the game with 14 points – one point shy of his season high – six rebounds, a season-high tying two steals and a season-high tying two blocks. With the crowd buzzing, and while playing a season-high 29 minutes, Nowitzki was 5-of-13 from the field, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range. He now has 31,416 points to 31,419 for Chamberlain.
  2. SOLID OFFENSIVE SHOWING: The Mavs surprisingly had one of their better all-around offensive performances of the season. Surprisingly, because it came with rookie point guard phenom Luka Doncic sitting out the game due to a right knee contusion. Overall, the Mavs were 46-of-90 from the field for a healthy 51.1 percent, and 16-of-35 from behind the 3-point arc for an even healthier 45.7 percent. With Devin Harris dispensing a season-high nine assists and Jalen Brunson adding seven, the Mavs wound up distributing 32 assists. Also, the Mavs turned the ball over just five times.
  3. HARDAWAY CELEBRATES HIS BIRTHDAY: Tim Hardaway Jr. sure knows how to celebrate a birthday. While turning 27 years old on Saturday, Hardaway went out and poured in a game-high 22 points against the Cavs. Hardaway tallied 19 of those points in the first half, which concluded with the Mavs nursing a 66-57 lead. In all, Hardaway converted 8-of-18 shots, and was 4-of-9 from beyond the 3-point line. It’s the second-most points Hardaway has scored since joining the Mavs in that Jan. 31 trade with the York Knicks. He scored 24 points against Portland on Feb. 10.
  4. MAXIMIZING HIS TIME: Maxi Kleber made the 25 minutes he played against the Cavs pay off handsomely and he wound up playing the best game of his career. The second-year forward tallied a season-high 18 points and was 5-of-11 from the field and 3-of-6 from 3-point territory. The five made field goals ties for the most field goals Kleber has converted in a game this season. In addition, Kleber pulled down a career- and game-high tying 12 rebounds. He also maneuvered his way inside the paint to grab a game-high five offensive rebounds.
  5. FINNEY-SMITH RAINING THREES: Dorian Finney-Smith came out of the gate playing the catch-and-shoot game to near perfection. In a first quarter where the Mavs scored 34 points, nine of them came from Finney-Smith on 3-of-4 baskets from beyond the 3-point arc. As a whole, Finney-Smith contributed 14 points and was 5-of-10 from the floor and 4-of-6 from 3-point range. The four 3-pointers are the most he has made in a game in his career. He also had six rebounds and a career-high six assists. It’s the first 10-point, five-rebound, five-assist game of his career.

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