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Wrap-Up – Topping the high-octane Mavericks with a healthy squad is a daunting task; dropping Dirk and Co. with LeBron James on the shelf and Kyrie Irving out with back issues is almost impossible. The Cavaliers simply ran out of ammo against the league’s highest-scoring squad as Dallas pulled away in the second stanza to hand Cleveland its fourth loss in the last five contests – 109-90 – on Sunday afternoon at The Q.
Kevin Love continued his mastery of the Mavericks – leading everyone with 30 points, going 11-for-21 from the floor, including 3-of-7 from long-distance, and doubling up with 10 boards, six off the offensive glass.
Shawn Marion followed up with a season-high 13 points against his former team, coming off the bench to go 6-for-11 from the floor. Matthew Dellavedova was the only other Cavalier in double-figures with 10 points, going 4-for-10 from the field, including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. Tristan Thompson led both teams with 11 rebounds in the loss.
Kyrie Irving finished with nine points and was restricted to just 25 minutes after suffering lower back tightness in the second half. He will not make the trip to Philly, staying behind for rest and rehab in Cleveland.
The Mavericks – who came into Sunday’s affair averaging 109.9 ppg per contest – won their fifth straight by shooting 56 percent from the floor, ringing up 30 assists on 44 made baskets. The Cavaliers topped Dallas in second-chance scoring, 19-4, but didn’t tally a fastbreak point in Sunday’s affair.
Turning Point – Sunday’s game didn’t have a dramatic turn of events. The Cavaliers hung with Dallas through the first quarter, trailing by just three, 28-25, after one. But all it takes is one cold stretch against Dallas, as the Mavericks used a 14-3 run after the Wine and Gold had cut their lead to four. Shawn Marion scored five quick points before intermission to keep the Cavaliers within striking distance, but Dallas continued its barrage after intermission and ran the lead to as high as 20 in the second stanza.
By the Numbers – 31.0, 11.1 … Kevin Love’s scoring and rebounding average over his last seven games against the Mavericks. During that stretch, Love is shooting .537 from the floor, finishing with at least 30 points in six of those seven matchups.
Quotable – Coach David Blatt, on Sunday afternoon’s defensive effort at The Q …
” The other night (against Charlotte) we played great defensively. Tonight, we didn’t play the kind of defense that we needed to play against any team – and certainly not Dallas.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers travel to Philadelphia for the second-half of their back-to-back, taking on the Sixers for the first time this season. On Wednesday, they return home to face James Harden and the Rockets in Cleveland’s final home game before embarking on a seven-day, five-game West Coast road trip. The junket begins on Friday night in Golden State, sends the Cavaliers to Sacramento for a Sunday night affair, brings them back to Phoenix for a Tuesday night matchup with the Suns and closes out with a Tinseltown back-to-back – against the Lakers on Thursday night and the Clippers on Friday.