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Mavericks top Cavaliers 121-116 as Dirk closes on Wilt

DALLAS (AP) As they watched Dirk Nowitzki's shooting heat up yet again, fans at the American Airlines Center thought they might be watching history Saturday night.

Nowitzki will have to wait another game to reach his latest milestone, but his Dallas Mavericks got a much-needed win.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 22 points, Nowitzki closed within three points of Wilt Chamberlain on the NBA scoring list and the Mavericks ended a seven-game losing streak with a 121-116 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Entering the fourth quarter with just four points, Nowitzki scored 10 in the first five minutes of the period to bring himself to the cusp of Chamberlain for sixth place on the career scoring list.

Nowitzki hit a turnaround jumper, a 3-pointer, two free throws and then another from long range with 7:15 left in the game. With the crowd buzzing on every Mavericks possession in the final minutes, Nowitzki missed his final five shots before leaving to a standing ovation in the final seconds.

''I was going for it there,'' Nowitzki said. ''I just didn't have another hot hand down the stretch.''

He has another home game on Monday before the team leaves on a three-game road trip.

''Breaking records is always fun,'' Nowitzki said. ''If it happens at home, it's even more special for fans that have been riding with you for such a long time.''

Nowitzki was one of seven Mavericks in double figures, helping to offset leading scorer Luka Doncic's absence due to a right knee contusion.

Maxi Kleber had 18 points and a career-high 12 rebounds for Dallas, and Jalen Brunson and Dwight Powell had 16 points apiece.

Collin Sexton scored 28 for the Cavaliers. Kevin Love and Cedi Osman each had 22 for Cleveland, which has lost three in a row.

Cleveland's last lead came at 10-9 midway through the first quarter, and the Mavericks led by as many as 21 in the second half before the Cavaliers made a run late to make the final score closer.

''I think we took a huge step back defensively,'' Love said. ''We've been looking at film, but when we're not scoring that ball it's almost like we're giving up on the defensive end.''

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: Though both attended shootaround Saturday, Larry Nance (rib contusion) and Tristan Thompson (left foot soreness) remained out for Cleveland. ... With Phoenix winning Saturday at New Orleans, Cleveland's six road wins are the fewest in the NBA.

Mavericks: Brunson and Powell's numbers have spiked since the All-Star break, with Powell averaging 17 points (nine prior to the break) and Brunson averaging 16 (seven). Brunson is also shooting 92 percent from the free throw line compared to 67 percent before the break. ... Dorian Finney-Smith scored 14 to reach 1,000 points for his career.

SEXTON'S STREAK

Sexton surpassed 20 points for the fifth game in a row and 19th time in his rookie season. He finished one short of his career high.

''The game is starting to slow down for him a little bit,'' Cavs coach Larry Drew said. ''He's just really doing a good job of picking and choosing his spots.''

GOING FOR ASSISTS

Nowitzki's teammate Devin Harris remained on the floor in the final quarter. It was Harris who delivered the assist on the basket that gave Nowitzki 30,000 points in 2017. Harris wanted another chance at history Saturday.

''I think everybody sacrificed and tried to get it over for him,'' Harris said. ''We wanted to get it for him. I'm hoping this next game we will be able to.''

Harris finished with a season-high nine assists.

UP NEXT

Cavaliers: Host Detroit on Monday, starting a three-game homestand.

Mavericks: Host New Orleans on Monday.

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Key Players
K. Love
0 PF
L. Doncic
77 SF
32.3 Min. Per Game 32.3
21.0 Pts. Per Game 21.0
5.7 Ast. Per Game 5.7
7.4 Reb. Per Game 7.4
38.5 Field Goal % 43.0
37.6 Three Point % 43.0
90.2 Free Throw % 70.2
  Defensive rebound by Maxi Kleber 0:02
  Nik Stauskas missed 3-pt. fade-away jump shot 0:02
+ 1 Devin Harris made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:04
+ 1 Devin Harris made 1st of 2 free throws 0:04
  Personal foul on Cedi Osman 0:04
+ 2 Collin Sexton made layup 0:05
  Tim Hardaway Jr. missed floating jump shot 0:12
+ 1 Kevin Love made 1st of 2 free throws 0:36
  Shooting foul on Dwight Powell 0:36
+ 3 Kevin Love made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Ante Zizic 1:03
  Defensive rebound by Ante Zizic 1:14
Team Stats
Points 116 121
Field Goals 40-87 (46.0%) 46-90 (51.1%)
3-Pointers 15-38 (39.5%) 16-35 (45.7%)
Free Throws 21-22 (95.5%) 13-16 (81.3%)
Total Rebounds 48 47
Offensive 7 9
Defensive 27 31
Team 14 7
Assists 20 32
Steals 1 3
Blocks 0 6
Turnovers 6 5
Fouls 20 22
Technicals 0 0
22 PTS, 12 REB, 4 AST
18 PTS, 12 REB, 1 AST
1234T
away team logo Cavaliers 17-53 26313128116
home team logo Mavericks 28-41 34323421121
Team Stats
away team logo Cavaliers 17-53 104.4 PPG 42.6 RPG 20.8 APG
home team logo Mavericks 28-41 108.2 PPG 44.8 RPG 22.8 APG
Key Players
C. Sexton PG 16.2 PPG 3.0 RPG 2.9 APG 42.6 FG%
T. Hardaway Jr. G 15.5 PPG 3.2 RPG 1.9 APG 40.4 FG%
Top Scorers
C. Sexton PG 28 PTS 3 REB 4 AST
T. Hardaway Jr. G 22 PTS 4 REB 2 AST
46.0 FG% 51.1
39.5 3PT FG% 45.7
95.5 FT% 81.3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
C. Sexton 28 3 4 10/17 4/7 4/5 2 38 0 0 0 1 2 +3 39
K. Love 22 12 4 6/15 2/9 8/8 1 32 0 0 0 0 12 +7 42
C. Osman 22 3 4 8/16 6/7 0/0 2 36 0 0 0 1 2 +5 33
A. Zizic 11 5 3 4/5 0/0 3/3 4 30 0 0 2 2 3 +14 20
B. Knight 5 2 1 2/6 1/3 0/0 4 20 0 0 1 0 2 -12 8
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
C. Sexton 28 3 4 10/17 4/7 4/5 2 38 0 0 0 1 2 +3 39
K. Love 22 12 4 6/15 2/9 8/8 1 32 0 0 0 0 12 +7 42
C. Osman 22 3 4 8/16 6/7 0/0 2 36 0 0 0 1 2 +5 33
A. Zizic 11 5 3 4/5 0/0 3/3 4 30 0 0 2 2 3 +14 20
B. Knight 5 2 1 2/6 1/3 0/0 4 20 0 0 1 0 2 -12 8
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Clarkson 17 2 2 6/12 1/5 4/4 2 30 0 0 2 1 1 -6 21
M. Chriss 4 2 2 1/5 0/1 2/2 1 17 0 0 0 1 1 -17 10
D. Nwaba 4 1 0 2/4 0/0 0/0 3 15 0 0 0 0 1 -14 5
N. Stauskas 3 4 0 1/7 1/6 0/0 1 18 1 0 1 1 3 -5 7
T. Thompson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Nance Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Henson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Dellavedova - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Adel - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Blossomgame - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Smith - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Frye - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 116 34 20 40/87 15/38 21/22 20 236 1 0 6 7 27 -25 185
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
T. Hardaway Jr. 22 4 2 8/18 4/9 2/2 2 36 0 0 0 0 4 -2 30
D. Powell 16 3 2 8/10 0/0 0/1 6 29 0 2 1 1 2 +4 24
J. Brunson 16 2 7 6/10 2/2 2/2 2 26 0 0 1 2 0 -4 31
D. Nowitzki 14 6 1 5/13 2/5 2/4 4 29 2 2 1 0 6 +8 25
D. Finney-Smith 14 6 6 5/10 4/6 0/0 3 34 0 1 1 0 6 +12 32
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
T. Hardaway Jr. 22 4 2 8/18 4/9 2/2 2 36 0 0 0 0 4 -2 30
D. Powell 16 3 2 8/10 0/0 0/1 6 29 0 2 1 1 2 +4 24
J. Brunson 16 2 7 6/10 2/2 2/2 2 26 0 0 1 2 0 -4 31
D. Nowitzki 14 6 1 5/13 2/5 2/4 4 29 2 2 1 0 6 +8 25
D. Finney-Smith 14 6 6 5/10 4/6 0/0 3 34 0 1 1 0 6 +12 32
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
M. Kleber 18 12 1 5/11 3/6 5/5 0 25 0 1 0 5 7 -6 33
T. Burke 11 0 2 5/9 1/3 0/0 1 21 1 0 0 0 0 +9 16
D. Harris 6 2 9 2/6 0/3 2/2 2 21 0 0 0 0 2 -2 26
J. Jackson 4 5 2 2/3 0/1 0/0 2 15 0 0 1 1 4 +6 12
J. Barea - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Lee - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Porzingis - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Mejri - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Macon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Antetokounmpo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Doncic - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Broekhoff - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 121 40 32 46/90 16/35 13/16 22 236 3 6 5 9 31 +25 229