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Wrap-Up -- With only five games remaining in the regular season and the red-hot Sixers right on their tail in the East, the Cavaliers will take all the wins they can get – even one as cosmetically unappealing as Sunday’s slugfest over the Mavericks.
Even LeBron James’ triple-double wasn’t pretty as the Cavaliers worked their way through three sluggish quarters to put Dallas away in the fourth – cruising to a 98-87 victory on Easter Sunday at The Q.
Without much to play for this season, the Mavericks gave Cleveland all it could handle on Sunday evening – taking a four-point lead into the final period. But the Cavs erased that edge early in the quarter and blew past Dallas late to secure their 47th win of the season and eighth in their last nine outings.
Sunday’s victory was also one the Cavaliers wanted to get with a trio of tough Eastern Conference matchups lined up this week – taking on the Raptors and Wizards at The Q before traveling to Philly for what could be a huge meeting on Friday night.
Though it wasn’t a thing of beauty, LeBron did register his 17th triple-double of the season and 72nd of his career – finishing with 16 points, 13 boards and 12 assists, going 5-for-21 from the floor and 4-for-4 from the stripe.
Kevin Love didn’t shoot the ball well either – finishing just 4-for-13 from the floor – but he still managed to net his 30th double-double of the season, finishing with 13 points and 13 boards in the win.
Jordan Clarkson followed up his 23-point effort in Friday night’s victory over New Orleans with another efficient night on Sunday – finishing with 16 points to notch double-figures for the 19th time in his 23 games as a Cavalier.
JR Smith had another solid outing off the bench – adding 15 points on 6-for-11 shooting, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Over his last three games, Smith is averaging 14.0 points per, shooting 62 percent from the floor and 55 percent from long-range over that span.
Jordan Clarkson buries 16 off the bench in an Easter Sunday win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Harrison Barnes led both squads on Sunday – netting 30 points on 10-of-19 shooting, including a 5-of-10 mark from deep. Rookie Dennis Smith Jr. was the only other Maverick in double-figures, finishing with 14 points and team-high six assists.
The Cavaliers beat Dallas up on the boards, 50-38, and on second-chance opportunities, 11-2. Cleveland also took 23 free throw attempts – canning 17 – to just 11 attempts for the Lottery-bound Mavericks.
Turning Point -- Although it never felt like the Mavericks were about to pull away, Dallas did lead by as many as eight in the second half.
They led by four, 77-73, after three quarters – but the Wine & Gold got it together from there and the Mavericks had no real answer.
After trailing by one, 81-80, Jordan Clarkson scored on an and-one opportunity to give Cleveland its first lead of the quarter. The Cavs then scored on Tristan Thompson’s tip followed by a three-pointer from LeBron. When Kevin Love drilled a triple with 3:13 to play – capping a 15-2 run – the Wine & Gold were up 13 and Larry Drew was readying to empty his bench.
By the Numbers – 7 … active players who have tallied 400 double-doubles for their career – a group that now includes Kevin Love, who notched his eighth-straight double-double against Dallas.
Quotable – Kevin Love, on Sunday’s tough win over the Mavericks …
"Sometimes, you’ve got to win ugly, and tonight was one of those nights. They’re a type of team, especially under (Rick) Carlisle, that plays extremely hard and will hit big shots and keep coming at you. So we just had to weather that and continue to play hard and make stops. When we got the stops, we were able to convert on the other end. On an ugly night, we were still able to get it done, so it was a good win for us."
Up Next -- Following Sunday’s win over the Mavericks at The Q, the regular season is down to its final five games. On Tuesday night, it’s another heavyweight home matchup with Toronto as the Raptors return to town for the second time in less than two weeks. After that, it’s a high-stakes back-to-back, welcoming Bradley Beal and the Wizards to town on Thursday night followed by a Friday night visit to Philly for a meeting with the red-hot Sixers. The Cavs close out the regular season the following week with a home-and-home matchup against the Knicks.