Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now

Cleveland at Dallas

Dirk-less Mavs end Cavs' five-game win streak

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

DALLAS -- With a bunch of versatile veterans, the Dallas Mavericks figure they can play any style of game and with any configuration of their lineup.

That means they even like their chances against, say, LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal on a night when Dirk Nowitzki is in street clothes.

Seem silly? Not after the Nowitzki-less Mavs beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 102-95 Sunday night.

Tim Thomas replaced Nowitzki in the starting lineup and did a nice impression with 22 points, and six others scored at least eight points. But it was on defense where Dallas really did a number on the Cavs.

 Mavs owner Cuban files protest

James scored only two of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and O'Neal made only one basket all game. Mo Williams scored just eight points as Cleveland ended a five-game winning streak and a four-game winning streak over the Mavericks.

"I think we just went about it the same way as if Dirk was playing," said Jason Kidd, who had 10 points and 11 assists for Dallas. "We didn't make a big emphasis on `Dirk's out so we've got to get 25 points from one individual.' We've got enough guys who can put the ball in the basket. We have to play defense and as a team we did that tonight."

The Cavaliers fell behind midway through the second quarter and never regained the lead. They came as close as 84-83 in the fourth quarter, but the Mavericks pulled away with a 12-4 spurt capped by 3-pointers from Kidd and Jason Terry.

Dallas won for the sixth time in seven games. Both teams are now 20-8.

"That's why they're one of the best teams in the league," James said. "Even without Dirk they've got All-Stars like Josh Howard and Jason Kidd and Jason Terry. Tim Thomas played great tonight. Guys stepped up."

Nowitzki was recovering from a gruesome collision with Houston's Carl Landry on Friday night in which Landry lost five teeth, two of them becoming embedded in Nowitzki's right elbow. He needed several stitches to close the wound and lots of medicine and treatment Saturday, but on Sunday he was just too sore, stiff and sensitive to the touch.

"I tried to go a little bit, got some jumpers up before the game, but I just couldn't get my elbow up, couldn't really extend it, so it didn't really make any sense [to play]," Nowitzki said. "Looking at the game now, it was a great decision. We got the win and I got a little rest."

He's hoping to return Tuesday night against Portland.

"I'm on every pill there is," he said. "We'll just see how it responds. If it's not Tuesday, definitely on [Saturday]."

Thomas started for the first time since joining Dallas, and was playing only his 12th game because of injuries. He was 7 of 14 with seven rebounds and two assists. He played a lot like Nowitzki, too, mixing a pair of 3-pointers with some inside baskets and six free throws.

"I just wanted to be aggressive with the minutes I was given tonight," Thomas said. "For the last couple of years I've been stuck in situations where I've been pretty much stuck behind the 3-point line, and coming into this season I told coach I wanted to get back to playing an all-around game, which is my strength. He's allowed me to do that and that's what I am capable of doing."

Terry scored 19 points, and both Drew Gooden and Shawn Marion had 12 points and eight rebounds. Howard added 14 points and Erick Dampier had eight points and 10 rebounds.

James was 9 of 23 from the floor with six assists and three rebounds. He snapped a streak of 11 straight games with at least 10 points, five rebounds and five assists.

This was the 500th game of his career, and he finished it two rebounds shy of joining Oscar Robertson as the only players with 13,750 points, 3,500 rebounds and 3,250 assists through that milestone.

He also was quite frustrated with the officiating. After a series of calls he didn't like, he threw down a vicious dunk off an alley-oop pass from Delonte West, then stared sharply at one official under the basket, then another near midcourt as he made his way back on defense.

"There was a couple of times I know LeBron drove the ball and he got hit and there was no call," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "I've got to do a better job of understanding the rule, because I don't know what's a foul and what's not a foul. You get told different things at different times and I've got to figure that out, he's got to figure that out and we as a team have to figure that out because it's disrupting the flow of how we're trying to play offensively, and we let it get to us tonight."

Notes

  • West scored 18 points, Anderson Varejao had 13 points and eight rebounds and Anthony Parker added 12 points for Cleveland.
  • Dallas had just six turnovers.
  • Cavs G Daniel Gibson came home to Texas with a Longhorns logo shaved into his head.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Dirk Nowitzki has a front-row seat for the Mavs win after injuring his elbow Friday night. (AP)
Dirk Nowitzki has a front-row seat for the Mavs win after injuring his elbow Friday night. (AP)

Scoreboard
Cleveland (20-8) 2624172895
Dallas (20-8) «25272129102
CLE:L. James 25 Pts
CLE:S. O'Neal 8 Reb
CLE:L. James 6 Ast
DAL:T. Thomas 22 Pts
DAL:E. Dampier 10 Reb
DAL:J. Kidd 11 Ast
Players of the Game
DallasCleveland

J. Kidd

L. James
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
104112536
Cleveland
L. James, SF439-235-736325
A. Parker, SG335-70-032012
M. Williams, PG324-90-26528
S. O'Neal, C181-73-48035
J. Hickson, PF161-22-21014
A. Varejao, C345-113-380413
D. West, SG296-116-674118
Z. Ilgauskas, C192-51-26015
D. Gibson, PG172-20-01025
D. Green, SFDid Not Play
C. Karl, PGDid Not Play
L. Powe, PFDid Not Play
J. Williams, SFDid Not Play
J. Moon, SFDid Not Play
D. Jackson, PFDid Not Play
Totals 35-7720-2643171795
 45.5%76.9% 
Dallas
J. Kidd, PG373-82-2411010
S. Marion, PF365-112-282212
T. Thomas, PF367-146-772222
E. Dampier, C254-60-010058
J. Barea, PG252-80-01405
J. Terry, SG357-124-404419
J. Howard, SF245-113-311414
D. Gooden, PF235-102-281312
D. Nowitzki, PFDid Not Play
Q. Ross, SGDid Not Play
R. Beaubois, PGDid Not Play
K. Humphries, PFDid Not Play
J. Singleton, SFDid Not Play
S. Williams, SFDid Not Play
M. Carroll, SGDid Not Play
Totals 38-8019-20392520102
 47.5%95.0% 
Other Games
NO 92 Final
Tor 98
Den 96 Final
Mem 102
Min 104 Final
Bos 122
LAL 93 Final
Det 81
Port 102 Final
Mia 95
Char 94 Final
NY 98