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Wrap-Up – With seven players in double-figures, the Cavaliers definitely got their offense going on Monday night in Dallas. The problem was that they gave up 97 points over the final three quarters, as the Mavericks pulled away to hand Cleveland the 124-107 loss – the Wine and Gold’s seventh in their last eight games since returning from their West Coast trip two weeks ago.
Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 27 points, going 8-of-18 from the floor, including 4-of-9 from long-distance – adding eight assists, three boards and a blocked shot. Luol Deng followed up with 18 points, eight boards and a game-high four steals. Tristan Thompson finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and two of Cleveland’s four blocks. In his second straight start, Jarrett Jack added a dozen points. Anthony Bennett came off the bench to tally 11 points and Anderson Varejao and CJ Miles notched 10 points apiece.
The Mavericks featured six players in double-figures, but shot 55 percent from the floor as a team, including 46 percent (12-of-26) from beyond the arc. Dallas beat Cleveland on the boards – outrebounding the Cavs, 45-31 – and in the paint – outscoring them, 50-38.
Turning Point – The Cavs kept it close in the first stanza and trailed by only seven at intermission. They used a 12-5 run to start the third to get to within a deuce midway through the period. But Dallas countered with a 9-0 run to up their lead to 11 and closed the quarter with a 15-point edge. The Cavaliers didn’t get within single-digits the rest of the way.
Game Ball – Jarrett Jack – The veteran point guard was sharp on Monday – going 5-of-7 from the floor and dishing out eight assists while allowing Kyrie to play off the ball.
By the Numbers – 4,000, 4,004 … career points and rebounds that Anderson Varejao has tallied in his NBA career with the Cavs. He joins Brad Daugherty, Hot Rod Williams and Zydrunas Ilgauskas as the only players in franchise history to top the 4K mark in both categories.
Quotable – Kyrie Irving, on what the Cavaliers need to do to snap out of their funk …
”We just have to stay positive. This stretch has definitely been tough and it tests your character and your mental strength. As professionals it’s our job to go out and play and give it our best effort every single night.”
Up Next – Following the three-game roadie, the Cavaliers return home to take on the Lakers on Wednesday night. It’s back on the road this Friday when the Cavs travel to face John Wall and the Wizards on Friday night. They return home to face another pair of Western Conference opponents – taking on Marc Gasol and the Grizzlies in a Sunday night affair and facing off against the Kings on Tuesday night. The following night, Cleveland travels to Detroit where they’ll take on the Pistons in the final game before the All-Star Break.