The Cleveland Cavaliers may have had their best performance of the season against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night. Cleveland led by as many as 31 points, and the Cavaliers got their largest road victory of the season 114-96 at American Airlines Center.
After losing five straight, Cleveland(11-10) has won two in a row, while Dallas(10-9) has lost two straight and five of their last six.
Cleveland won in Dallas for the first time since 2017.
Here is the Great, Not So Great, and Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over Dallas.
The Great for the Cavs:
-Jarrett Allen had a career-high 28 points(11/17 FG) to go along with a game-high 14 rebounds against Dallas. He killed the Mavs on lobs from Garland. In fact, seven of Garland’s nine assists went to Allen. Allen finished the game with a game-high +30 rating. This was Allen’s fourth straight double-double.
-Lauri Markkanen had a season-high 24 points, including a team-high five threes. Markkanen also added eight rebounds. He scored 20-points for the fourth time in his last five games. Since November 1, Markkanan is averaging 20.2 points and 8.0 rebounds per contest.
-Darius Garland got anywhere he wanted on the floor against Dallas. Garland had 18 points and nine assists. He was penetrating and was doing a lot of swishing and dishing. It’s great to see him play with so much confidence this season, and in the last six games, Garland is averaging 22.7 points and 8.2 assists.
First Half: Cleveland shot 51% in the first half and played solid defense in that half as they held Dallas to 36% shooting from the field, including 5/22(23%) from three-point range. Allen(11) and Garland(10) combined for 21 points. Cleveland took a 52-41 lead at halftime.
Third Quarter: The Cavs were sizzling in the third. They shot 68% from the field, including 5/7 from downtown. Garland and Allen connected on multiple alley-oops, and Allen(5/6 FG) had 13 points and six rebounds in third, while Garland(3-3 FG) added eight points and five assists. Cleveland led by as many as 24 points in the quarter. The Cavs were in complete control and took a 22-point lead into the fourth.
The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:
Cleveland did have 17 turnovers on Monday night, but hey, that doesn’t matter too much when you win by 18 points.
What an impressive victory for Cleveland. They dominated that third quarter. They got another excellent performance from their bigs as Allen, Evan Mobley, and Markkanen combined for 64 points. This was a total team effort as Cleveland had six players, including all five starters in double figures. Right now, the Cavaliers are fairly healthy and playing with a lot of confidence.
“I think having three bigs out there is something teams haven’t seen a lot,” Markkanen said after the game. “Our size bothers other teams.”
The Cavaliers continue their three-game road trip Wednesday night against the Miami Heat.
Best of the Rest:
Luka Doncic had a triple-double and led the Mavs with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists; Maxi Kleber was the only other Mav in double-figures with 13 points.
Mobley had 12 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two blocks; Isaac Okoro had 10 points.
Cleveland was without Cedi Osman (lower back soreness) and Dean Wade (calf strain).
Kristaps Porzingis added nine points, five rebounds and four blocks before exiting the game in the third quarter with a right ankle injury.
Listen below as Allen, Markkanen, and Garland talk win over Dallas: